Mikaela Reyes
Mikaela Reyes

Wishful Longing

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I’ve been thinking about death lately…

Not in the way you might think.

In 2018 alone, I’ve had 3 friends from back home choose to leave this earth. Out of the three, two of them passed in the last two weeks. You can imagine how puffy my eyes have been these days. Life is so fleeting, and unexpectedly so.

They say that at any one time in your life, you’re most connected to a maximum of only 50 people. At one point in time, each of these friends was a part of that 50. At some point, my relationships with these beautiful souls reached their peaks. Admittedly, because of life and distance and every other excuse in the world, they’ve moved away from the 50. I’ve probably gotten bumped out of their list, too.

I wish a human’s capacity for connection extended beyond this exclusive group. I wish I could be within walking distance to all my close friends in life so I can hit them up anytime. I’d tell all those friends that I love them so tenderly and let them know just how much the world loves them, too.

I wish I could once again hear Andre crack that extremely corny joke, the one that no one really gets until after he explains it. I’d give anything to watch him squint his eyes as he rolls back in laughter, to see his wide-faced smile one more time, the real one, the one that doesn’t just exist on the pixels of my screen.

I wish I could see Lyon strolling down the lobby at our school, with the guitar he brought absolutely everywhere. For one last time, I’d love to watch him rock it out on stage with all that charm and finesse he’s built up over the years. Oh, how great it would be to hear his sexy, raspy voice one more time.

I wish I could hug Edel again, hear his whispers of encouragement, accompanied with that reassuring nod and that dashing but gentle smile. I miss his eyes, the ones that consoled, the ones that told me that despite all the fear, irrationality & ambiguity I faced, there’s at least one heart I’m inspiring. He believed in me, in many of us, and we should, too.

My memory is messed up and I wish it were better, so much so that I can replay those reels of our best moments together on a wide screen. I’d watch those shows again and again and again. But this faulty memory of mine relies on blurry visions and the still pictures I can salvage from social media. How could I forget? Why am I forgetting?

Why didn’t I make a bigger effort to see them when I was home? I wish I saw them every chance I got. Maybe I wouldn’t feel as ignorant. Maybe I would have noticed. Why was I so blind to not expect or even know that they were going through such trying times? It hurts me to think about how much pain they each went through. The loneliness. The crippling anxiety. I could have been there. I could have done something. At least I wish I could have done something, and if that wish were true, I wish I did that something.

I’ve been thinking about death lately. It manifests in ugly crying, a whole lot of pain on that upper left corner of my chest and a slew of sorry’s on behalf of the failure of the world. I’m sorry the system failed you, that institutions were not setup for mental health care, that it’s such a taboo and an ignored phenomenon, when it clearly shouldn’t be. I’m sorry society is fcked up and caused you to feel so lonely; you don’t deserve to feel alone. I’m sorry we weren’t there for you, even if we thought we were. I’m sorry you thought the only way to rid yourself of the pain was to rid yourself in this world. I really, really, really wish you didn’t think so.

I wish a lot of things though sometimes I don’t know if I wish you’re all happy up there. I think I do. You all deserve the rest. But, I more so wish you were all already happy while down here. Then maybe there’ll be no need for all this wishing.

Andre, Lyon and Edel, thank you. We love you. Rest well.