Ed, you and I connected because we were the same type of weird. I don’t think you get enough credit for how weird you were. You were a goofball. We also connected on a spiritual level, and even a childish level. When we got together our inner children would come out and play. I feel the same way about our friend Jess who introduced us. We would play old games on N64 and you first showed me how to play Zelda on switch. You were always going on adventures and it was a pleasure to come with you. I remember swimming in the ocean under the stars, climbing up cliffs, and driving really fast in your car. You were adventure wrapped up in a person.
You had a giant imagination and loved exploring all things philosophical. I will miss having conversations with your parents about a great manner of things in rooms that were lined with books. You’re the only person I know who has also read The Tales of Earthsea by Ursula Le Guin. You had a great knowledge of all things earthly and homely. You knew the names of all the trees and what their leaves could do. You knew exactly how to pat cats. Sometimes you would show up at my door with a boot full of wood you had chopped yourself. You took care of your friends and always put them before yourself. Every time I left your house I would leave with an armful of herbs and supplements.
You were such a good person, in the very moral sense of the word. You were always so conscious of being nice. You never put others down. You never ever treated anyone like you were better than them. You made friends with people on the street and you helped anyone you could. You lived by your moral code in a way few people in this world really do. No one who knew you would say different. It’s been so heartbreaking to see the world treat you as they did. They labeled you as something you never were because you were something they could never be.
I remember when you first met Harisa and you told me you had a ‘soul mate’ feeling about her. You told me how the first time you met you saw each other through the window at the gym, and then you licked the glass. Harisa is one of those rare women who are as beautiful on the inside as they are on the outside, and we all thought you were safe once you met her. The last time I spoke to you was four weeks ago on my birthday when you told me you couldn’t make it to my party. I was mad at you for that so I didn’t respond, and that was our last interaction. I’ll have to wear that forever now. I know it’s not my fault and I know I couldn’t have done more, but that’s the question we’re all left with when someone takes their own life - could I have done more?
I think the real question is could you have done more. The truth is no one can fight the battle of depression but the person fighting it. I recently read a book called Atlas of the Heart by Dr Brené Brown who said one of the greatest determining factors of whether a person will commit suicide or not is their level of self belief. How much do they believe in their own ability to overcome? I wish we lived in a world where we were taught self love instead of self hate. Self belief instead of self doubt. You were born in the wrong world at the wrong time. But instead of pulling me further into my own depression your death just makes me want to fight harder. It makes me want to be even more honest about my struggles so people like you could see you’re not so alone.
I don’t think you’re selfish for what you did and sometimes I wonder if it was more selfish to ask you to stay. I don’t want to make anyone angry by saying that but it’s just honestly how I’m feeling. Maybe I’m wrong, or maybe I’m not close enough to you to know, but maybe now we all carry a piece of the pain you felt for so long. I don’t mean to make suicide okay, not that a person in that place needs my permission. I’m just proud of you for how long you fought for rather than angry that you lost the fight. I’m happy you’re at peace.
A few days after you left us I inspected a rental property and it was directly across the road from the house you used to live in. It was the house where you taught me how to play Zelda. When you lose someone you love you seem to enter into this weird state of communication with the Universe. I guess the strange synchronicities come at a time when we are in a deep dance with the meaning of life and death. I’m not sure what that’s supposed to mean, me going to that house, but I’m sure you would have some theory. You were tapped in in a way I simply wasn’t and I will miss your wisdom.
What I have learnt from your death is not to let the darkness of the world put out my light. I’ve learnt not to view myself through the eyes of people who don’t like me. I’ve learnt only to see myself through the eyes of the people who love me, who actually know me. You are a testament to the fact the world will always try to tear down a person who shines brightly. You were such a bright light in my life Ed, and I will take that light with me wherever I go.
I think you would like the name of this blog post. ‘Edward and the Magic Pebble’ sounds like the title of a fantasy novel for which you are the main character. One of the last times I saw you you gave me a small rock and joked it was a magic pebble. I still have that pebble in the pocket of the jacket I was wearing on the day. I think I held onto it because even back then I had a feeling, or at least a fear, that this would one day happen. I guess that pebble is all I have left of you now. I suppose I will have to keep it safe. The pebble itself is worthless, it is the memories that make it magic.