I was reminded of a fallen friend this morning and the pain of his absence still cuts so deep. He will have been gone two years in December. While I feel overwhelmingly blessed to have known him, there is an abyss within my heart that will never be filled.
I am loathe to write for fear of reducing our friendship to a cliché, but I can’t hide from the words that I need to say, nay, that I need to scream. To say that I miss him is a blatant understatement. To say that I still love him so endearingly is inadequate.
My tears are selfish. He is beyond want or pain. He would scold me now, if he could see me weeping as I type, but I am far from quieting my grief. How could I possibly let him go? That he is no longer here is unnatural and so very unfair. I am twisted with guilt because there is a letter that I forgot to mail him. It still sits on my desk at work, haunting me daily, my own personal poltergeist. It exists because of “tomorrow”. My procrastination shames me still. I desperately yearn for one more “tomorrow” even knowing as I do that I can never make restitution to myself. I cannot forgive myself; I refuse to forgive myself. I failed him at the most basic level. I didn’t place enough urgency on the need to communicate. I didn’t make the time to find a stamp. He deserved better than me as a friend. He deserved a friend who realized then that there isn’t always a tomorrow.
Do not leave your letters unsent for want of a stamp lest it become for want of a tomorrow. The cost is immeasurable.
The worst of men fight. The best of men die.
Marine Lance Corporal Omar Roebuck
Helmand Province, Afganistan
December 22, 2009
Requiescat in pace.