Six years ago, I lost a dear friend; his name was Dave.

He was 46, divorced, and had no children. His second marriage was on the rocks and he had recently lost his job. Dave was in a bad place, so he went home and overdosed on a combination of Soma and alcohol.

I’ve lost a lot of friends over the years. But for some reason, his death hit me the hardest. Dave had a beautiful laugh, a charming personality. His heart was deeper than the Grand Canyon. And to this day, I can’t believe he’s gone.

A week after he died, I had a dream about him. The phone rang, so I picked it up. He was on the other line, chatting away like normal. I waited for him to pause, but he continued. After a few minutes, I interrupted his story.

“Dave, are you still alive? Brother, tell me you’re still alive!”

The phone began to break up with static.

“I’ve got to go,” he said. “I’ve got to go…”

I woke up immediately. The dream was so real, so vivid. His voice was still ringing in my ear.

That was six years ago.

Male friendship is a sacred bond; it’s the backbone of a great nation. Unfortunately, its downplayed in today’s world. So much of the focus is on male/female dynamics – romantic love being the new altar of worship. What’s lost in this shuffle is the tremendous value of male friendship. The kinship that emerges between a band of brothers. I’m glad I’ve been able to experience it. And I’m glad that the Lord has placed excellent people in my path.

RIP Dave…you are still missed.

 

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25 thoughts on “Reflections on the Death of a Good Friend (Six Years Ago Today)

  1. so very, very sorry 😦

    the discouragement of male/male friendships is tragic and criminal. and even female/female friendships. seems you can’t be just ‘friends’ with anyone without people wanting to make it sexual in some stupid way. nothing can be real and normal anymore.

    my husband deals with death a lot in his job, and the number of male suicides is overwhelming and tragic – and they all lead back to a woman somewhere. it’s so sad.

    1. “…the discouragement of male/male friendships is tragic and criminal. and even female/female friendships.”

      I sometimes worry that my daughter will have a hard time finding true female friendships. There is so much jealousy, in-fighting, etc.

      1. female/female friendship has definitely been an issue in our home. i wish i had some wisdom here, but i’m not sure i do.

        i think it’s critically important for us to teach our children to be careful the friends we allow very close to us b/c our friends, especially those we allow into our inner circle, have great influence over our lives. we need to choose our friends well.

        even then, though, we can get wounded mercilessly by those we think were our friends. i know.

        i have a theory … i think that girls who have very close relationships with their mothers don’t have the same *need* for friends … and that boys who have very close relationships with their fathers don’t have the same *need* for friends. i believe that God created, hard-wired, into each of us a ‘Mommy-place’ and a ‘Daddy-place.’ if these places are not filled by our mom’s and dad’s, they are left vacant, wanting, unfulfilled, hollow, painful. but if our parents fill their roles and their places, we are given a firm and strong foundation for life. when those relationships evolve into friendships as adults, i think there’s more fulfillment and beauty and hope given to the adult child – especially when the same-sex parent/adult-child friendship is strong. what that translates to is that adult children with close parent relationships do not have the same *needs* as those without. they don’t even know they don’t have that need b/c they never knew it could exist. but those without are like starving people with hollow bellies that are never full and always seeking. the one exception is when that person allows God to soothe their soul and become fully dependent upon Him. it’s hard b/c i do not believe God takes those empty, hollow places away. He enables us to endure without them filled, but He does not take them away. ***** again, this is all my theory based on personal experience and observation *****

      2. “i think it’s critically important for us to teach our children to be careful the friends we allow very close to us b/c our friends, especially those we allow into our inner circle, have great influence over our lives. we need to choose our friends well.”

        I think that the media (TV, radio, etc.) can be a subtle negative force; in many ways, doing more damage than the friends we let into our homes. In short, watching programming that it deleterious to a happy, healthy home can do more damage than a wayward acquaintance.

      3. absolutely. when my Oldest was little, she would ALWAYS pick out the ONE ‘bad’ person in a show/video and imitate that person … didn’t matter if there were 100 good characters, she ALWAYS picked the ONE bad and imitated them. so we had to be very strict about what she watched. she’ll tell you now that it’s b/c the ‘bad’ characters had more depth to them.

        – – –

        interesting about TV, though … my parents grew up without tv, and they were both abusive. my siblings and i grew up without tv, and 2 of us made it out unscathed by life, and 2 of us got all screwed up in a lot of bad stuff. my sister said it was b/c of the friends she had. she had to move to another state a long ways away to get away from that influence.

      4. “my Oldest was little, she would ALWAYS pick out the ONE ‘bad’ person in a show/video and imitate that person”

        Sadly, I used to do the same. It took years of mistakes before I got that out of my system.

      5. interesting. you’re the first adult i’ve met who has said that to me. what was it about the dark character that drew you to them? is there anything your parents could have done to helped you growing up? do you still struggle with that?

      6. I think it was a sense of boyish mischief…a little Dennis the Menace streak, as it were. Thankfully, that habit has long since died. But by the grace of God.

      7. “i believe that God created, hard-wired, into each of us a ‘Mommy-place’ and a ‘Daddy-place.’ if these places are not filled by our mom’s and dad’s, they are left vacant, wanting, unfulfilled, hollow, painful.”

        I have seen this too many times to discount it. Very common.

      8. i have only one fixed goal in life – to live as long as i can so i can infuse as much of me as possible into my children so that when i’m gone, i’ll still be with them.

    2. “…my husband deals with death a lot in his job, and the number of male suicides is overwhelming and tragic – and they all lead back to a woman somewhere.”

      My friend’s death was related to a woman/women. More specifically, his inability to find “the one.”

      1. Yes, indeed.

        Sad to say, but my friend never really developed personal passions: i.e. he hated his job, had no real hobbies. Everything hinged on finding the girl that would right the wrongs.

        But of course, women want a man who is passionate about something, who lives for a cause that’s greater than himself. And I cannot blame them in that regard.

      2. it seems such a ‘double-edged sword’ sometimes. when we put all our ‘hope’ in humans, we will always be disappointed. yet, God created us as humans, and He created us to need other humans to survive and be well and healthy all around.

        – – – – –

        “I had heart surgery once. When I was in the hospital, only one friend came to visit me. And he didn’t even have Facebook.

        Mind you, at this time I had around 700 “friends” on Facebook. But when push came to shove, it was just my family and one friend at my side.”

        – –
        before facebook … the first christmas i was a single mom after their dad left us, i had joined a sunday school class taught by the two staff who led the national and international missions in our church. ALL the members of that ss class actively served in missions. they wanted to help with christmas, but i didn’t need any gifts; i had been able to get them everything they needed for gifts. but, i told them that what we didn’t have was a place to go. i had no family, and my friends were all going to their families, so we were alone. i asked if there was someone we could spend the day with … and you know what? they asked around and not one person invited us for christmas day and not one person even thought to bring us a meal. i had been told by another staff member at the ‘beginning of the end’ of my marriage to keep my girls and myself close to the church b/c they would help us. i was so disillusioned. we tried several more churches before we stopped going all together (it’s more complex than that, but that’s the tiny nutshell version). thankfully i was able to separate God from church people in a church building, so my girls and i never lost our faith in Him.

        but, as the profound ‘old’ saying goes … you find out who your friends are. and i found out i had very few, indeed.

      3. Sorry to hear about the unfortunate turn of events. Unfortunately, tough times do not always reward us immediately.

        And I agree with you…putting your faith in God is the first and most important step.

  2. Sorry to hear that, Major. Although we weren’t as close as you and Dave, an older coworker friend was in a similar situation five years ago. About to lose his job, his wife, and at least one of his two kids hated him (sided with the wife). I had been away from that organization for 18mos and when I returned, he was a different man. He would be out for long periods and when he was in, if he wasn’t checked out, I was his confessor and counselor. I watched him go downhill for the last year of his life; he ended up driving up an on-ramp into a semi. It was never ruled a suicide but we all knew it was. RIP Barry. He had always been a lively, sharp, goodnatured fellow, almost like a father figure to a few of us.

    Echoing your and Ame’s comments, same sex friendships are indeed increasingly sexualized (diminishing the value or validity of platonic hetero relationships… hetero anything, really.). In Scripture, revisionist academics pervert the friendship of David and Jonathan, or of Jesus and the apostle he loved. And for f/f relationships, I think of Orange is the New Black. Before I got tired of the lesbo porn and feminazism, there was a subplot with two girl-friends where Poussey ‘liked’ Taystee, who repeatedly stated she wasn’t into that. It was clear the writers were painting Taystee as repressed and homophobic; I assume the writers eventually had them hook up. That’s the near future, a culture so thoroughly sodomized that not being down for a little fudgepacking (or scissoring) is rude, homophobic, antisocial, etc.

    This person might be trolling. It’s telling that I can’t tell.

    1. “I watched him go downhill for the last year of his life; he ended up driving up an on-ramp into a semi. It was never ruled a suicide but we all knew it was. RIP Barry”

      Sorry to hear this. In many ways, we as friends grieve as much for their loss as anybody (outside of their children or siblings, perhaps).

    2. “That’s the near future, a culture so thoroughly sodomized that not being down for a little fudgepacking (or scissoring) is rude, homophobic, antisocial, etc.”

      An astute observation. It’s ironic that this diminishing of real friendships is occurring simoultaneous to Facebook “friends”. People with 300 “friends,” yet not one person that would visit them in the hospital if they were recovering from heart surgery.

      1. “An astute observation. It’s ironic that this diminishing of real friendships is occurring simoultaneous to Facebook “friends”. People with 300 “friends,” yet not one person that would visit them in the hospital if they were recovering from heart surgery.”

        i so agree. i’ve done little ‘experiments’ on facebook. i don’t even know how many ‘friends’ i have but it’s not much over 100 b/c i don’t believe in ‘friending’ everyone. anyway … i find it very interesting who and how many respond to various posts … and who cares whether i post or not for extended periods of time. i’ve found i can fade from conscious thought or care if i don’t post anything for awhile.

        another *theory* of mine … i don’t think people really care. you hear people say, “If I only *knew* I would have helped!” i believe that’s BS. people don’t help others, even if they know. and … if someone does do something they consider *help* it’s based on their own perception of what they consider *help* to be … NOT on what that person actually needs. people get very self-righteous about their ‘giving-of-themselves’ for the better of mankind. it seems the more people have, the more judgemental they become about how they use their resources to ‘help’ others. i think that those who truly do see a need and strive to meet that need are almost invisible in society – and they prefer it that way.

      2. “i find it very interesting who and how many respond to various posts … and who cares whether i post or not for extended periods of time”

        I had heart surgery once. When I was in the hospital, only one friend came to visit me. And he didn’t even have Facebook.

        Mind you, at this time I had around 700 “friends” on Facebook. But when push came to shove, it was just my family and one friend at my side.

      3. “If I only *knew* I would have helped!” i believe that’s BS. people don’t help others, even if they know.”

        A guy I know on FB is currently struggling with cancer. He used to host parties at his house and tons of people would attend. Now he has one comment/one like when he posts something about his struggle.

        The irony is too much to bare sometimes.

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