My friend, who is in part responsible for Kenny and I meeting, committed suicide last night. I have rotated between shock, sadness, and anger. Anger at myself for losing touch with him over a petty argument. Not that I could have changed the outcome, but it makes me sad that I barely talked to him the last few years. As a parent, I am also angry at him for leaving his baby. A baby who deserved to have a dad. Mostly, I am just sad.
My favorite memory of Matt is when we first met in 1998. I perhaps had met him in passing before, as we went to high school together. But the first time I spoke to him was after graduation. I was out with a group of friends, and we met up with another group, a group of people that I did not know well. I tend to get shy around people I don't know well, but this always comes off as standoffish. I have been told this often. Matt, however, called me out. He said, "You know what I like about you?" And in my standoffish, eye-rolling way I said, "Oh do please tell me." He laughed and said, "You act cocky, but you really aren't." Then he threw his arm around my shoulder, and led me off to introduce me to the people I didn't know. He was honest and perhaps the one person who figured me out in less than three seconds. He was that way with everyone. He had a way of actually seeing people, and caring for them immediately. He wore his heart on his sleeve and was a good person. And although we lost touch a few years ago, I will still miss him.
You always think you have enough time to repair broken friendships. To see someone one more time. Or when you still have their invitation to your Christmas party sitting on the desk because you didn't make the effort to get his address, you think you will do it next time. Unfortunately there isn't always next time.
You will be missed, Matt. By many, many people.