My friend was dead. He had killed himself. He left a note. I’m sorry he said. Everyone was in tears. I stood. I wasn’t moved. Was he truly sorry?


Whenever a person dies, the natural ritual is to cry. The people who wished you well. Those who contributed to your tears. Everyone cries. We all cry. We kill ourselves so we can gather at our funerals to cry. Today I wasn’t going to be part of that congregation. So, I just stood.


 My friend had killed himself but maybe I thought, maybe I let that happen. I thought of the times when I hadn’t been nice to him. When I hadn’t been there for him. When depression was eating him up and all I did was stare. My thoughts were constellations that kept haunting me. I had the chance to save you buddy but I blew it. I must have killed my friend.

Everyone said nice things about my friend. He was a great person. He was like stars in the skies. He brought smiles to our faces. Everyone seemed to be his friend. But that wasn’t true.


I looked into the eyes of my dead friend. We seem to have a living connection. An agreement. We spoke without the movement of our lips. Can you see what they did there he said? We knew there were more lies in the eulogies than truths. He never had so many friends. He never even had friends. Perhaps I was his friend at some points when it was beneficial.


Our communication was soon cut short. It was my time to read out my eulogy.


So I began: “I’m sorry if my tears are overwhelming but this is something I never thought I’d be doing at least not yet. Settle down my friend. Your ghost won’t let me speak. Hold me close. Let me go with you? I gave you all my warmth but you were still cold. I don’t know how I feel but it’s a feeling I’d rather forget. It doesn’t hurt because you’re dead for we will all die someday. It hurts because we never had a chance to say a last goodbye. You always said you loved me. So why did you leave me?


Everyone believes you killed yourself. That’s not true. Without missing words I think I killed you. I must have killed you. You died because of my actions. For things I didn’t do. I apologize for watching you die. Actions not carried out can’t be revealed in autopsies otherwise I should be behind bars. But doctors think you killed yourself. We promised we would be together forever; then why did I let you go?


You see life is cruel. You were my Jesus. And I was your Judas. You were saving me – and I was killing you. I doubt you would ever forgive me. But its alright. I don’t forgive myself either.


Last night I stepped into the shower. The water was warm. But there was no shower. And I stepped nowhere. It was just tears. I hope you see that I am hurt as everyone else? And I hope that you don’t forgive me today but maybe some other day so I could learn. Today I stand to speak about this joy I felt when I met you and the companionship I would perhaps never in my life feel again…”


I hadn’t finished my eulogy when there was pandemonium everywhere. My dead friend sneezed in his coffin. It was a hopeful kind of sneeze. One of life. One to remind me that I was still alive. I woke up. It was time to prepare for his funeral.




Published by Etenwa Manuel