Today it has been 11 years since someone very close to me left this world. Yesterday was his birthday. He would have been 35. It doesn't seem like 11 years have gone by since his death. Even though it does somehow get easier each year, the wounds still seem too fresh to be 11 years old. My memories are too vivid.
But my memories of his death and the funeral and everything surrounding it are even more vivid. So, I know it's real. It was the hardest thing I've ever gone through. I can't even imagine what his parents and his sister feel when this time of year comes around. I know I usually have a few quiet days of reflection. Days where I listen to songs that remind me of him and thumb through old pictures of all of us.
I've heard people describe how when a loved-one dies they lose a little peice of themselves and I never really understood it until 11 years ago today. That may sound silly, but it's true. I'm simply not the same person I used to be. I lost a little bit of something in my personality. I blamed myself for not doing more. I still do blame myself for not doing more. I changed, and I will never be the same.
Since his death, I feel disconnected somehow from his parents and his sister. I guess it's because of the sadness and my feelings of guilt. I just feel awkward around them now, like I'm an intruder into their world or like I might trigger some memory of the bad times. Because I was his roommate when he died. So, I should have been there. It's crazy. It's tragic. It's difficult. It's 11 years later and I still need my quiet days.