The Passing of a Friend

For the last year, I have seen many get sober, stay sober, then suddenly they are gone. The what, where, when, how, why all doesn’t matter. People move on with their lives. In this case, this twenty-seven year old man, Mr. D,, had his whole life ahead of him with his daughter celebrating just over a year of sobriety. Yesterday I learned of his passing – sudden and unexpected.

It hurts.

Many times someone will bring up the five stages of grief: denial and/or isolation, anger bargaining, depression and acceptance. People go through these stages in different ways. For instance, yesterday I just wanted to be alone. I was angry, “How can he be so stupid? What was he thinking?” Afterward, what part did I play, “All those times I I saw him walking down the street with his head down and I said nothing. Why am I here and he’s gone – shouldn’t it be reversed?” Lastly, I come to accept he is gone. It is that simple. We can’t change the past. Eventually we have to move on with our own lives.

But it still hurts.

Last night, I talked about how it brought back memories of those I have lost in my past. For some reason, I was fixated on this gentleman I knew as Rick, a old time drunk. Afterward, I would think of my relapse and my loss of my first Sponsor. Both times I ran to get large quantities of alcohol. It wasn’t in celebration of their lives; it was my own selfish needs to drown the pain I was experiencing.

Today, I don’t have to go through that experience again.

It still hurts.

Just like recovery, each day afterward gets a little better. Today, I still have periodically thoughts about him, “Why was he put in my life? What lesson(s) do I need to learn here?” I am still sad, one so young, was taken away. But I know what I must do! What can I do to honor and celebrate his life?

Stay sober/clean and help another alcoholic/addict – that is my purpose.

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