Eight years, and still…

6 Apr

Today, April 6th, is the eight year anniversary of my friend’s suicide.

First, let me just say wow. It’s been eight years. Eight years since I lost him. Eight years since I was 16. Eight years since my life changed drastically (while his ceased). Eight years since my first brush with real, true, devastating hurt. Eight years of blaming myself, of wishing things were different, of wishing I had done something, anything to stop what happened. Eight years. Eight years of wondering what he would be now, who he would be, if only…

For whatever reason, this eighth anniversary is easier than the seventh. I guess that’s just what happens. Some years are just more difficult than others. The second anniversary was hard, and so was the fifth. And of course, the seventh, which happened while I was in Kosovo, deployed.

Anyway, this year there aren’t any tears, mostly because it was an Army weekend and my time has been gobbled up by other things and I haven’t had the chance to reflect on it all until just now. But, regardless of how busy I’ve been, I just don’t think it’s a tearful anniversary this time around. Sure, there’s that ache in there, but it’s always there, no matter what the date, or time of year.

Last year I found myself embarrassed by my grief because seven years had passed and still, I hurt. This year it’s different. Throughout the past year I finally figured out that grief doesn’t fit in a box. Grief isn’t describable, or definable or even logical. It just is, coming and going, hitting hard, or nudging softly. This year I realized that the people who say “get over it,” and trust me, there have been a lot of them over the years, don’t get it because they haven’t ever felt hurt like that. And I hope they never do.

So grief. It’s still there after eight years. Still inside of me. Still thriving, in fact. But I don’t mind. In fact, if it wasn’t for my grief over his death, I wouldn’t remember his face as clearly as I do today. If not for grief I wouldn’t be who I am today, I wouldn’t remember David’s laughter and in truth, I’m not sure if I would even be.

David Lee Smith

March 11, 1984 – April 6, 2000

I love you David. Thank you for all you were and all you are and all you’ve taught me. Rest Well.


3 Responses to “Eight years, and still…”

  1. turnonthestars April 7, 2008 at 1:34 AM #

    August 21st is the 11th anniversary of my uncle’s.
    I was 13, and grew up the instant I was told; and it was the start of an incredibly hard decade for me and my family.
    It doesn’t get easier, but you’re exactly right when you say ‘If not for grief I wouldn’t be who I am today’. Exactly right. I’ve tried to say that so many times over the years and have never been able to. So, thank you.

  2. instatick April 8, 2008 at 7:06 AM #


    Thank you for sharing that – it’s always nice to know that I’m not the only one in the whole world still remembering and grieving.

  3. Denise Bernard February 10, 2014 at 12:57 PM #

    Terra, thank you for sharing. This is the first time I’ve come across your site and I’m rather glad I did, especially since out of the blue, I’ve been having dreams about David.

    I think about David every year. I think about his warm smile and his inviting personality; his heart-felt hugs and that special laugh he had when something was really funny. I think about how he offered me a ride twice that afternoon and how on any other day I would have said yes, but I was too preoccupied in my own thoughts and the feel of the warm air on my walk home that I declined his offer. I think about how I could have avoided the whole thing from happening, had I just gotten in the car and turned up the music like I always did and rode off with him – circling blocks until a great song would end the short ride home. Thank you for thinking of him and keeping him alive in your heart. ❤

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