I was up most of the night last night. I was thinking about my best friend who lost his fight with cancer over three years ago. I tossed and turned most of the night and I just could not get a decent night sleep. It was horrible. It brought me back to a time almost four years ago.
My best friend suffered through seven long years with terminal cancer. I lived in Indiana for the first four Years he suffered. He wondered why I was the only friend who was always there for him. My friend was my best friend because he was that kind of friend. He was always there to help me through my difficulties and he led me back to Christ. During his time with terminal cancer, his wife suffered some mental problems and through him out on the street. My friend came to live with me and my new wife. His wife spent some time in the mental hospital and was never quite right again.
My wife received a job offer in Florida and we moved. My friend was heartbroken. I told him I would keep in touch. To his surprise, I actually did. For three years, we spend time on the phone nearly every day. He taught me how to write songs. We wrote songs together over the phone, we argued about politics and joked about life. I actually took a few flights back to Indiana to spend some time with my friend. My friend remained surprised. He forgot how good of a friend he had been to me. He was the only person who called me when I nearly died from kidney stones. He was there for me when I got myself in trouble with the law. He found a Christian counselor for me to talk to about my past. He hooked me up with a lawyer who kept me out of jail. He was a true friend to me.
My friend told me an important fact. You will meet many people in this lifetime. Many will call you friend. Only a few people will truly be your friend. Finally, I get to six months before my best friend’s death. I began having trouble sleeping at night. I would wake up in the middle of the night with anxiety. I wanted to help my friend, but there was nothing more I could do for him. I prayed for him. I talked to him, but I did not have the power to heal him.
As a child, I was always a little afraid of death. Spending seven years watching my best friend die, strengthened my fears. I realized it was not death that scared me. What scared me was the process of death. What if I spent seven years dying? My friend was vulnerable through the process of death. He would often cry. He would scream out in pain. He would tell me how he deserved to suffer as much as he was suffering. My friend was in the Mafia many years ago and killed people. He became a Christian, used a favor to get out, changed his name and began to write Gospel music. Eventually I will write a book about him called The Prodigal Son.
My best friend finally lost his life to cancer. He never gave up or gave in. He was the strongest person I have ever met. Now, three years later, I still find myself waking up (once in a while) in the middle of the night. I had anxiety attacks earlier this year and I finally realize the anxiety came from the pain I suffered through the loss of my friend. I have been praying daily for God to help me. He has stopped the anxiety attacks. Now, I have to finally deal with the death of my friend. Three years later. It took me this long to realize how much his death affected me. In fact, the process of death had an enormous effect on my life.
Dealing with the death of my best friend was one of the toughest things I have faced. I made a promise to him I would not go to his funeral. I believe it was a mistake, but it was a promise. I stopped writing songs when he died. I never wrote a book about him that has been in my mind for years. Finally, I am happy because last night I realized what has been bugging me (so much) for the past few years. If you read this story, please pray for me, the author. I pray every day. It would be nice knowing other people are sending a prayer (in my name) up to the Father up above.