We went up to Philly for the livestrong weekend. It was a really nice experience and a powerful time for everyone I think, with my brother having survived TC in a relatively lucky-manner thus far with minimal changing in his daily life.
My brother Matt and I drove up to meet our parents at the hotel there on Saturday. On the way up, he got a very unfortunate phone call about a sudden death of someone in a social circle close to him. As soon as I heard the term "best friend" and "sudden death", something that comes up for me more frequently than I've ever admitted over the past 17 years, came up again. The memory of my best friend, Josh.
When I was around 5 years old, Josh died suddenly of meningococcus bacteria, that eventually caused meningococcemia/meningitis. He was dead 48 hours after the bacteria entered his system.
Memories are hazy from back then, but I have a very vivid photographic memory, and I've never forgotten a lot of my childhood with him and with other close friends growing up at home. Especially now with all of this crazy traveling and random last minute stuff happening in my life, I spend a lot of time on the road reflecting, and his memory is coming up in a way that it never has before.
For so long I've just kind of remembered him as my close friend of the past, the one that I could never get back but that died in a tragic happening like anyone else might have in the past or will in the future, for any number of reasons....but I realized something. This week, for the first time ever, I realized that I never truly mourned his death. Being so young, I never fully processed it at the time. After that, over the years, the memory never came up in any other way than is mentioned above; I just successfully avoided it, basically.
Anyways, that all changed, and a lot of emotion has been happening recently as what seems to be a 17 year delay in mourning occurring over my best friend and my memories of him. Today I visited his grave for the first time ever and it was....emotional, to say the least. It felt good though, and it had to be done, and it certainly won't be the last time I visit him. Something that needed to be done before travels to Europe, IMO.
I'm doing ok with it now, but it'll be a slow week trying to get back on track. I have coaching, playing and social obligations that I'd like to fulfill, among continuing to crank out travel plans, as I might be leaving within the next 2-3 weeks! I hope all goes well, we'll see what comes of it. Thanks for reading.