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MY friend killed himself 8 years ago, and I still miss him.

It was someone that was my best friend for many years. We met in 1992, hung out almost daily, lived together twice, but eventually grew apart around 2009. I reached out, and we started hanging out again, but he was bad news. We both had a troubled past, but where I grew and changed, he got worse. More into drugs, more into negative thoughts, and he wound up jealous of the girl I was dating. I had been with her for 6 years when in 2011 he said something that was the final straw.
Over the years my few other good friends asked why I was still friends with him. This was a guy who had burned me many times over the years, but I always made up with him. He didn’t deserve it for the things he did (like getting a different girl I was dating high then hooking up with her while I was sleeping), he was just not the kind of person you would want as a close friend. I can’t explain why, but we were anyway. We just “clicked”. Anyway, that last straw in 2011 he said, literally, “Maybe if you spent less time with your bitch, you’d have more time to hang out with me”. He meant it to be disrespectful. I don’t talk about women like that, and this was a girl I was deeply committed to. So I cut him off. I told him it was the last straw, and that I was done.
3 years ago, after my cat of 14 years died and I was feeling particularly devastated, I decided to do some digging on FB to see what he was up to. I had planned to reach out. The last posts I saw from him were from 2013. As soon as I saw that I got that feeling in my stomach. So I googled his name hoping I wasn’t right. But I was. I contacted his father who he wasn’t close to, but he told me on FB that my friend was very depressed, and they were all sad about it, etc. He was kind of dismissive, so I’m not sure. He also told me a year after my friend killed himself his son killed himself, and his former girlfriend. I guess bad things really do travel in threes.
So he had been dead for 5 years when I found out, and to this very day, to this very minute, I am convinced had I not written him off he’d still be here. He didn’t have any other good friends, just acquaintances. Or dealers, etc. He rarely saw his mother, and in the entire time I knew him saw his father once. To top all that off, most of my best memories are also with him. My early 20s were a blast. Even my early 30s when we hung out all the time were pretty amazing. And we both lived in what used to be my favorite city. And now it’s just his ghost shrouding it when I go there. Everything reminds me of him. I cried more for my cat because my cat didn’t choose to die and was there for me every single day: I know it’s weird to some to be that attached to a pet, but I did cry for my friend, too when I found out. I kind of felt like an idiot crying about something that happened 5 years prior, but I had just found out about it. So for me it happened then. I just really miss him.
If one good thing came out of it, I started reaching out to some people who were less than popular I used to see around town to check up on them, even though it’d been years (they’re on my FB friends list). I even started hanging out with one of them. We get coffee on occasion. Because of the pandemic and his kidney problems (he gets dialysis, not idea why specifically, didn’t ask), we haven’t in the last year, but we talk online frequently. I’m determined to try to pay attention going forward, just in case there is anything I can do. I guess I just wanted to know if it’s weird to feel this way years later.

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