It is the anniversary of the day one of my childhood friends was shot.
I kind of mark the day every year by feeling morose about it.
It’s one thing to lose a friend to old age, or a disease, or something slow where you had a chance to talk to them before they went. But, violent death is a whole other thing. I didn’t get to say goodbye, and my last memory of him is throwing up and trying to speak and not being able to because of the bullet in his chest.
It’s not just the death you deal with.
It’s the manner in which the death occurred.
In movies when someone is shot, they can sill talk and they say goodbye to the person standing over them and then they look peaceful when they die. But in real life, people who are shot do not die peacefully. In real life they die with their eyes wide open, horrified and in pain. There is no peace.
I know why we make it look nice in movies.
I get that.
We’re all afraid of death because it’s that thing that will happen to us all someday, and we try not to think about it because it’s too horrifying to think about. We’re afraid.
So we make it look nice and peaceful in the movies.
People here talk about their childhood friends. We’re all across a huge ocean from our homes, and we all have different perspective because of that. So a lot of people here talk about how narrow-minded their old friends are, and how they are just getting married and having babies instead of exploring the world.
And I get that.
But for me, I only really had one good friend growing up. And I will never know what would have happened if he had lived. I will never see him get married, or have kids, or anything else.
For me, this really drives home the problem of gun violence in the US. My friends here are from countries where it’s not really an issue, and so they would be horrified if I told them about it. So, I don’t. I am just morose today and none of them know why.
But you know why.
You guys know that it’s because I watched my friend die from a gunshot wound, and I saw how afraid he was and how completely NOT peaceful violent death really is. I can never forget. And I can never have my childhood friend back.