We buried a friend in Cincinnati, my old middle school crew and a hundred crying family members. I still know some people from middle school but haven’t seen the friend in mention since 04. He moved to Ohio for the later part of High-School, I would see him log onto IM but never messaged, I was so sure we had grown apart that I didn’t try to reconnect. When I got the call that he had committed suicide, I was asked to join his family at his funeral in Cincinnati. I guess his parents didn’t know how little we were in contact, maybe it just meant a lot to his parents to have people they remember from his childhood around, I was always very polite at birthday parties.
He didn’t know I was trans or AB/DL or what music i was into or anything current, he was always very conservative and with him is where I learned to gut and clean a deer, something I’ve been trying to forget since. For the 5 days I was there I looked like a sharp young man, a funeral for a friend is one of those times where expressing myself isn’t important. It was the first time in years, and maybe in my entire life where I was perceived as a man, it felt new and strange, like cross-dressing. I got my suit out of my moms garage and borrowed a tie, kept my pitch low and let my facial hair grow out. On the positive side, I got the ego boost of flirty looks from the local girls and some rock-star treatment due to my tight-jeans California hipster looks and my indie filmmaker reputation.
All of us grew out of our god-fearing child hood except the family of my friend, the services were long and unrepresentative of the person I knew, and for the theologically uninformed, Catholics don’t look kindly on suicide. I don’t know why he did it, maybe he didn’t think he’d actually do it, or maybe he wanted to see how it feels, to have all that pain and then nothing. In middle school we used to talk about how curious we were about seeing heaven, how it would feel and what it would be like, if we were good enough to get in or if it even exists. We used to think of ways to kill ourselves on accident or just die for a few minutes so we wouldn’t go to hell but we could still see death, it was always kind of a joke, but with a eerie bit of seriousness about it. On that note, I’m really glad I don’t ponder god or the afterlife very often anymore, I’m purely Que Sera Sera, I don’t have any knowledge or control over god or the afterlife, therefore it will be what it will be. Be a good person because your a good person, not because you’re going to get something for it, be it karma or heaven.
After the service and the painful wake, I went out with the guys, watched them throw beers into the river and punch the iron girders of the bridge he walked off of. We got stinking drunk and I had my shoulder cried on by strangers and old friends, brothers fought and made up and some good times were remembered. I stayed for a few days due to a chartered flight, his father was a pediatrician who specialized in critical cancer patients, which explains flying out all his old friends and the ivory casket. It would be tough to have a dad with a depressing job like that, to understand death so early and always have that dark cloud above you, and being born with money I’m sure leaves people with the feeling of nothing to look forward to. Here I am blaming someone, damn grief cycle.
I think I’ve talked about this enough to have purged whatever needed purging, please no condolence emails or anything, you don’t have any idea who this person was, and never will. I’ve been to many funerals in my time, and death has always been a curiosity for me. I hope I can go a year without one, and why does it always rain? With everything else going on in my life this was a shock, I realize it would have been best for my mental, emotional and financial state to stay home, but I felt like I had to go. I’ve been so happy lately with the hormones, I needed something to get to me, I’m over balling up sadness and pain, I needed to cry and hug my teddy bear. Things have felt different since coming back, I’m still happy and content, I just feel a little older. This whole experience just goes to show, if life gives you lemons, someone you know might die.