My best friend Wes killed himself in 2017.
First, he went missing. We only found out later that he had died.
I look up to him. He was outgoing, funny, and passionate. He was so full of life.
Until he was gone.
I was 15. I had never experienced the death of a loved one in any capacity. What happened to Wes completely changed me.
My throat is closing up as I type this. It is hard to think about him without thinking about his death.

If you have gone through a situation similar to mine, I just want to tell you what my therapist has told me.
You don't have to hold onto the pain, you don't have to hold onto the grief. It doesn't mean you don't care anymore.
It doesn't mean you are going to forget them. It is natural, and it is necessary to heal. You must let go.
Embrace who they were in life. Embrace your good memories of them.
Those are what matters.

If you have never experienced the suicide of a loved one, please take my advice.
Tell your friends you love them. Tell them every time you feel your love for them.
Love is a beautiful thing. It feels good to tell people you love them, it feels good to be told you are loved.
You never know when you won't be able to tell them anymore.
Live every day like it's everyone's last.

I love you, Wes.
And I love you, website viewer.

Please take care of yourself. Please take care of your friends.
We are all in this together.

If you are contemplating suicide, please call a crisis line, talk to a therapist, or reach out to someone you trust.