Thursday, July 14, 2005

when you come back to me again

i rode down a familiar road last week. the last time i was there, i was in the jeep with michael. it was summer. the wind was warm and it covered me like a blanket. we laughed at my hair blowing in the wind and he told me stories i'd never heard before. i met his grandparents, who are from holland, and felt blessed to see this side of him that in all our years of friendship, he'd not shared. i hurt him by rejecting him when we were younger. it took us a long time to get back to this place. we were aimless that night, but he was calm. he was different when we weren't around everyone else. i can still feel the wind on my face. i know exactly where i was and what it felt like to be in that moment.

but i lost sight of that night soon after. i became a friend i would never want to have. michael's depression became overbearing. we didn't want to deal with it. we stopped inviting him to dinner, and declined invitations to do things together because we thought he was such a downer. and he was. but it wasn't his fault. and a real friend would've cared enough to try to help him make it through it. i was not a real friend to michael.

the last time i saw him, he was lying on my living room floor. we were all wasted, and we'd made our way back inside to the air conditioning. michael was lying on his back staring at my ceiling. "when you come back to me again" came on. and he sang it at the top of his lungs. we laughed and laughed, although it's not a funny song. i wish now i hadn't laughed. that song and its lyrics break my heart to hear it today. he was reaching out, in so many ways. and i did worse than not extending my open hand...i had his hand, but i let it go.

and so michael brantley, 21 years old having just started his own business, lost hope. put a gun to his head and pulled the trigger. called me just before. and i didn't answer. it's enough to make me wish...well...i didn't feel worthy of life when i heard the news. i'm sorry, michael. it's worthless now, i know. but i didn't tell you how much i loved you and how much our friendship really did mean to me. i didn't thank you for riding 4 wheelers and cooking dinner and making CDs and doing me favors and believing me when no one else would. i will always be sorry for not being there when you needed me most. i will never, ever forgive myself for it. i can only hope that now you are in the sun, living without any darkness.


On a prayer, in a song
I hear your voice and
It keeps me hanging on
Raining down
Against the wind
I'm reaching out till
We reach the circle's end
When you come
Back to me again

13 comments:

Puffer said...

Beautiful lyrics
that he wrote
be gentle to yourself
you were his friend

pack of 2 said...

Please don't carry this guilt...it isn't your fault. Sometimes people need more help than one person can possibly give.
I'm sure you are a great friend to everyone in your life...it shows in your posts.

Shelly

for_the_lonely said...

I hope that you can find comfort in knowing that you have helped me out in ways that I can not describe. I agree with pack of 2...do not carry this guilt around..I think he would want to see you happy...we all do. "i always leave talking with you with a smile"

I love you

Sarah

Jan said...

People do what they can and when, as you did. Please do not harbor that guilt. You did not cause this nor could you have prevented it.
Take care of you and be a friend to yourself now. You were a friend to
Michael.

lightfeather said...

Oh sweetie. How sad this is. When people do that, they leave us with so many what if's, I should haves, could haves. Not fair of them at all to do that. Put down that extra bag of guilt sweet friend and let it go. We are responsible only for ourselves in this lifetime. You could not have known. His decision was his and his alone. Breathe.

Anonymous said...

ahhh...the guilt those left behind have to bear...but please know that you were not/are not responsible. You loved him as much as you could and did what you could for him...he knew you loved him for who he was and what he was to you.

Be happy for the time you did have with him, it sounds as if you have some special memories.

Melissa

Puffer said...

No more guilt
Listen to what the others
above say
they are wise

Sarah said...

Wow. Very powerful post. Thank you for being brave enough to share with all of us.

meelo said...

merci beaucoup to all of you for your kindness. it has been a year since his death and i'd not spoken about him once. however, it was beginning to overwhelm me. thank you for listening and letting me exhale and be honest with myself and you.

scribble said...

sincere hugs for you camille.
There is always somethings we find most difficult to share.
I'm glad this blog is helping you to find your voice.
Once out there, it can be healed.

I echo sentiments above and offer
my admiration for you still.

always

Jas... said...

Interesting thing about blogs, they are just like writing letters. As far as this universe is concerned, this realm and the next, the words you put forth fly as thoughts. Wherever Michael is right now, he most likely heard your words and you'll find that he forgave you long ago.

Some believe that those who commit suicide are born again into a new body so that they have the chance to get it right. If this is the way it is, then I'm sure he'll tackle his problems this time around so that he can move on for the next journey!

:)
Jas...

LEMONHEAD said...

great you posted on this
so we your pals could comment
sometimes or most times when their are people like this
there is no amount of time or friends that can save them
they will find a way.... too exit
so you let that feeling go and enjoy your life
there alwasys would be a last phone call somewhere /its not your fault
peace and laughter for you
debbie smiles :)

queencarolyne said...

Michael chose his path, you could not have changed his course. You can only cherish his memory and keep him alive with your laughter. If you've learned from this experience, then you will be able to help others. Nothing happens without a reason. I wish you strength, courage and committment.