I dreamt about Trevor last night. My memory of it is hazy, but I do remember him being the focus of whatever scene it was in my mind. In the real world he was often the focus of our group of friends. He was so clever and charming. Also, extremely bright and laser-focused on what he saw as the central point of whatever we were talking or laughing about. Even as a highly awkward eighth grader, I could tell Trevor had enormous potential and the intellect to make almost anything he wanted to become a reality. He possessed a quiet confidence that a wide circle of kids gravitated to and he was so open to everyone.

We lost touch after high school, but he left a mark on me. I always assumed we’d reconnect someday. It seemed inevitable. About ten years ago I found him on Facebook and we messaged a few times. He didn’t live nearby, so a digital connection would have to suffice. I suffered from depression that was spiraling downward and I lost touch with him again. Then, one day I decided to check Facebook out of sheer boredom and I saw a string of condolence posts about Trevor in my feed. I reached out to a friend we had in common and he told he heard that he had killed himself, apparently by hanging. It shattered me in a number of ways: first, he was Trevor. The brightest and loveliest of guys. Secondly, I couldn’t square my teenage notion of the kid with the world at his feet with the father who was crushed by the demons in his head. And finally, as a suicidal man myself, I understood all too well what depression does to a person, even one who seemingly has it all.

There would be no “Remember when” conversations or a chance to enthuse about our kids. Just a riptide of sadness and the fond memories trying to fight to the surface.

© 2021 Jeff E. Brown. All rights reserved.

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