Weaving the Tapestry
Last Monday I found out that a buddy of mine had killed himself.
I've tried to be gentle when speaking of it, when sharing my pain. I've tried to not blurt out that he put a gun in his mouth and pulled the trigger.
I haven't been very successful.
For years he'd been a staple at Z's study group. He had good attendance, was well liked. I rarely spoke to him, though; I'm shy, sometimes. I try to be friendly to everyone who comes, but I don't talk a lot, mostly.
Last November, Z was off on some adventure on study group night, so instead of cancelling we decided to have a get to know you evening, with food and fellowship. I spent the whole night talking to Matt.
That's his name. Matt.
Matt and I spent the whole night talking. I don't remember what we talked about, but it was a fun and engaging conversation.
And that was the last time I saw him.
Mid-December, after a couple of events and study groups he didn't attend, I looked for him on Facebook. After our conversation, I'd missed him and wanted to make sure he was OK. This is difficult when you don't know someone's last name and have no friends in common that you know of, but I kept an eye out for him anyway. Finally, I noticed that he'd posted to a mutual friend's wall, and friended him immediately. He responded, and we began to talk online, bonding over topics like David Bowie. He sent me articles about Bowie's involvement with the occult, and shared that he'd driven cross country in December from California to Massachusetts to be with his mom, who was having trouble after the death of his father last October.
Last Monday, I noticed that someone had written on his Facebook wall something like, "I should have gotten coffee with you on Friday and now I'll never get to." It was confusing to me; I'd just talked to him days prior.
So that's how I found out.
I've been thinking about Matt for a week, now. Matt, whose mother is with neither husband nor son. Matt, who I've known forever, it seems, but have never truly known. Matt, whose passing has had such a profound effect upon my world. Matt, on the outer rim of my Circle, and yet the idea of never connecting with him ever again is crushing. Matt.
Matt's passing is a lesson for me of my own importance in the world. If this guy that I barely knew--let's face it, I barely knew him--has touched me this deeply, then who have I touched? Who would grieve for me, as I grieve for him? Everyone. The answer is everyone. And the same goes for you, for all of us.
We all are Matt. We are all a tiny thread of a great tapestry bound together by our connections. My thread is supremely important to the story, as is yours, as is his, and hers. Matt's thread was cut too soon, and leaves a gaping hole, which mars the beauty of the whole and cuts off some of the story. It also lets the cold air though--which has diminished the usefulness of the tapestry.
Together we make the tapestry strong, complete. When our lives end in a natural manner, it's just a cut thread, which happens. It's a natural thing, to cut a thread when making something. But when we take ourselves out, the disjointed bit looks ragged and leaves the rest of the piece a little bare.
Matt matters. I matter. You matter. We all matter. Let's make this tapestry beautiful.
I am grateful.