Shades of Gray


If in the future, you should light a candle
Light one for him
And if in the future, you should say a prayer
Say one for him
And if in the future, you should cry a tear
Cry one for him - ANONYMOUS

As I read the obituaries in the paper that warm Sunday afternoon in August
1994, my heart skipped a beat and then broke into a million pieces. What a
way to find out about a death! Had I kept in touch with my 29 year old
friend, I would have known sooner that he had been on life support for two
weeks prior to his death. I would have known that he succumbed due to a
mixture of drugs and alcohol in his body. But our lives were leading two
opposite directions in 1993 and by 1994,we had completely lost touch.
Afterward, I cried only a little - and then stayed busy. I stayed busy to
block his death out of my mind. Guilt ate me inside. The "If Only" thoughts
played over and over again in my mind. If only I had been a better friend.
If only I had kept in touch. If only I had known. If only. And then he was
gone from my mind for a long time until recently.

I took the journey to his grave, carrying a bouquet of flowers for him. When
I reached his grave, I lay the flowers at the foot of the grave, put my arms
around the tombstone and hugged it, holding on tightly. And then I cried the
tears I had wanted to cry before but never could. And then I awakened from my
dream..a numbness all over me. And I realized the grieving process was just
beginning. Only one person knows about my grief- his best friend - and he
understands because he is also still going through the grieving process. I
just wonder how long it will take before I can finally let go. I always feel
guilty for not being there for him in the end - when he probably needed
someone the most.

For now, I am gathering pictures of my beloved friend along with poetry I have
written about him and am also keeping a journal of my grieving process. It
may not take all the pain and grief away but it does ease it a little. And I
think this is one of the easiest ways to let go of someone who was so dear to
me; who made me laugh; who put sunshine in my soul; who encouraged me when I
was ready to give it all up.

Gray, I miss your gentle smile; your soft voice; your bubbly personality.
But most of all, I miss you. You are never far from my mind. And you will
never be far from my heart.

Days pass by so dark, so cold
an emptiness inside my soul
Because I know, I know
You again, I'll never hold
Because I'm here, I'm here
Watering the flowers on your grave - poem by Sheyla Fekete

You can email: Sheyla [email protected]
mail welcome

anniversary date 08-94
date of post 07-12-99


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Crisis, Grief, and Healing: Tom Golden LCSW