Welcome back to my life in parts. I took a writing break over the weekend to gather my thoughts and figure out what I wanted to write about for this part which might be the final part of this series, I am not entirely sure yet.
If you’ve been keeping tabs on my updates, you’ll know that I’ve explained in great detail what happened when my dad died, how I ended my engagement, the aftermath of the following season, and the new career pathway I’m on. If you haven’t then maybe you should catch up before you read this post.
I met G last summer, right in the middle of things getting crazy. He hired me to do his portraits and cover his set at Artscape. This was right after I published my last blog post before my hiatus. It was pouring that day and it was humid and gross out but I still had a good time. We took a handful of portraits in a little alleyway and on some steps. They came out pretty nice, he’s photogenic so my job was made easy.
Fast forward to the weekend before Christmas. I was after my breakup with P and my mindset was that of taking my life one day at a time, no expectations. I posted about Yankee Candle having a sale ($10 large candles!) and G messaged me about it. I invited him to come to the mall with me the next day and that’s how it all began. We talked all night and all day.
“I know you just got out of a relationship and I don’t want to be that guy but I want you to know that I have ulterior motives and I really like you and when I found out you were engaged last summer I was really sad about it so I figured I’d put it out there now.”
I definitely wasn’t ready for another relationship at this point but it was something worth exploring to me so I went for it. If not now, then when? Why wait if you have something that seems to be good in front of you? There hasn’t been a week that’s gone by since that we haven’t been together for most of it.
I know this sounds cliche, but when you meet someone who balances your crazy with their crazy it’s a great thing. I have struggled with anxiety and depression my entire life and unfortunately it’s ended many friendships and caused issues in my previous relationships. However, G knows how to disarm that like no one ever has and I equate it to a superpower because, trust me, that shit is hard to do. He makes me laugh, too. If you know him in real life, you’d know he’s a really funny person. I feel calmer and more myself when he’s around and that is a very new thing for me.
G and I explored places together, some his favorites, some mine. We spend nights marathoning ocean documentaries, shows about space, weird anime, and just talking about everything and anything. He lost his dad two months before I lost mine. He was apart of the dead dad club too, a club that gets bigger as I get older. He knew what I was dealing with without me ever having to explain it. He knows me without me having to explain it and that is a priceless thing.
January flew by. It always seems like the longest AND fastest month ever. January is special that way I guess.
G got to meet my best friend Alyssa who instantly gave him the meep seal of approval. Alyssa came down from NYC for the weekend to watch the Fyre Festival documentary with me. We had dinner and invited G. He brought a friend with him.
That was the day I met Jon Miller.
Jon, covered in tattoos and wearing a denim vest, had his hands stuffed in his pockets as he stood in my living room. “Nice to meet you,” he said and he even gave a little chuckle afterwards, something I would come to hear after a lot of things he said. He was G’s best friend since middle school. The kind of friend who is always there in your life, the type who you can’t imagine your life not having just because of how often they’ve been there. Jon was G’s Alyssa.
Jon quickly became my best friend too. We were similar, both artists. His art was illustration and paint. He was a tattoo artist with a quirky, weird style that I loved. We also had similar mental struggles, we had been in the same bad spots before multiple times in our lives. We knew how to communicate with each other on a level that many couldn’t relate to. I couldn’t be happier that this genuine, sweet person was my boyfriend’s go-to companion, his best friend. I always thought to myself, “Thank god G has Jon.”
We hung out in G’s kitchen, sitting around the table. Oftentimes until 2am. Jon would sketch while we all just talked and laughed and sang ridiculous songs G would make up on the spot. We drank copious amounts of coffee, there was always a pot on. I’m not a big drinker, G cut alcohol out of his life around the time we started dating, and Jon wasn’t super interested in alcohol, so we pumped ourselves full of caffeine so we could hang out longer. Talk about some party animals.
I would text Jon when I was feeling relationship anxiety. G didn’t do anything wrong, in fact, he was so right it made me nervous. My mind was looking for holes or hypothetical possibilities to validate why I didn’t deserve an honest relationship for the first time in my life. I knew Jon would give me good advice, not influence me in a negative way. He ALWAYS calmed me, told me it would be ok. To trust G and that he wouldn’t let anything happen to me or our relationship. He never left me hanging. My life was so much better than it was in the months prior. These two saved me and I will forever me thankful.
I introduced Jon to my best friend Rachel a few weeks after meeting him. They were similar in terms of personality and their easy-going manners. “I want to smooch Jon” Rachel said, after seeing one of my instagram stories that included him, another story from another night sitting around the kitchen table.
I told Jon and he turned red and smiled. They went on their first date a week later and were inseparable. We were all inseparable, our sweet group of four. “I love my life, I am so happy,” Rachel texted me one day. I agreed with her.
The following weeks were spent going to G’s music gigs, hanging out at my house, sitting around G’s kitchen table, and just doing everyday things that were made just a little more extraordinary by being together.
Jon was nice to everyone but himself. He self-doubted always but he was extraordinary. We were at one of G’s gigs and Jon was sketching at the bar, a true Jon activity. I noticed one of the faces he was sketching looked very much like the work from Picasso’s cubism period. “Picasso fan?” I asked. Jon didn’t know what I was talking about, so I pulled up similar faces. They were so much a like. “Whoa!” Jon said upon realizing he just replicated Picasso without ever even seeing this similar work. He smiled and I could tell he felt pleased and good about himself, so have something so organic match a great artist so effortlessly.
One night we were all at my house. My friend Josh came to install this yoga trapeze I wanted hung from my ceiling. All my asshole friends called it a sex swing and still do. Haven’t used it for sex yet but trust me, it’s definitely a yoga swing.
Rachel went upstairs to pee and flushed the toilet. Pandemonium broke loose. Water started coming through my ceiling, down my stairs, down the walls, in the hallway. An overflowed toilet. The world might as well have been ending. I go downstairs to see my friends with pots and towels trying to stop the water. I tried not to cry and laugh at the same time. This is what it was like owning a house. God help me. Jon was standing there with a pot, “I think it’s stopping,” he said as my arm was elbow deep inside of the toilet.
On February 26, 2019 Rachel made chili, a family dinner. We sat around her kitchen table this time. G wanted pie so we piled into the car and went to Dangerously Delicious. We slammed some pie and went back to Rachel’s. I said goodbye to them and Jon and I did our weird little crab dance we would do whenever we said hello or goodbye.
On February 27, 2019 Jon took his own life.
G got a call from Rachel telling him to call Jon’s parents. I called her back from my phone. “Go out of the room,” she said. I did. I will never forget her voice and her sobs telling me what I felt already in my gut. I screamed as the wind was knocked out of me. Before I knew it I was on the floor and I watched G with his head against the wall in the hallway as Jon’s dad told him what I already knew.
This loss hurt more than my dad in a certain way. I knew my dad’s was inevitable, I knew it was coming. I was prepared. No one could have prepared me for Jon’s. He was only twenty-four.
After a year of loss and struggle we all had finally let out the breaths we had been holding only to have the wind knocked out of us and the rug yanked from underneath us.
Jon left nothing for us. No note. No explanation. He was doing well. He had a girlfriend he loved, friends who loved him, a wonderful family that I’ve been extremely fortunate to get to know after his death. People say “check on your friends” as if you’re responsible for their mental state. Jon struggled a lot, I told him every single day how important he was and how wonderful we all thought he was. How talented and how good of a friend he was. A part of him never believed it all. I wish he did.
We joke and say that he was so rude for doing this and it was so mean of him to leave us. We really don’t blame Jon, not one bit. Our only wish was that he saw what we saw in him, maybe then he would have realized how important it was for him to stay with us. We had so many plans together.
Jon, I wish you could have seen how many people came to your viewing. There were SO MANY. How many people posted stories about you on Fb. How many people shared your art you made for them. How your sweet parents cried when they saw us, your friends, the people who will keep your memory alive. You were SO LOVED. You always will be.
I’ve been there. I’ve been suicidal and depressed and anxious. After seeing SEVERAL of my friends chose what they thought was their only option, I can tell you right now all you’re doing is leaving behind nothing but sadness. Jon was my best friend.
YOU WILL be MISSED. I won’t post the number to a suicide hotline or tell you to see a doctor. I will tell you to look at your friends and family and think about how they would be affected if you just weren’t here anymore. I know the voices in your head may tell you otherwise but I PROMISE you, you would be missed.
Jon, you will always be missed.