I met Ash 3 years ago. When I moved into the children’s home where I lived in for some time . I fell in love with their sense of humour and their music taste which we shared. Ash always pushed me out of my comfort zone, not in hatred, but In compassion. They always wanted me to succeed in every way possible. They were so enthusiastic whenever we spent time together and it was infectious, the happiness that followed them when we were together. When Ash spoke about thing they were passionate about you saw their eyes light up. Me and Ash connected over our love for music specifically the band My Chemical Romance. We spent a lot of time going on walks and listen to the songs we both enjoyed and the bands we loved.
I lived with Ash until March of 2020. We spoke everyday up until the day they were sadly taken from us. Ash used to climb trees and sit up there hours. I never quite knew what they were looking at but I feel like they felt inner peace up there. Ash was an extremely determined and intense person, a perfectionist but I love that about them. My friendship with Ash was full. It was a magical combination of deep talks, long walks and hiding and messing about in the woods. We had emotional intimacy which is tough to find with anyone.
I feel though this needs me to shed a light on mental illness as this is what took my best friend. Many people look at mental illnesses like being depressed as being down and anxiety as being shy, but this needs to change. Depression is complex. You may have many things causing this but also you may have none at all. Anxiety is crippling and it can come on at any given moment. The stigma around mental illness needs to change. Ash once told me that they couldn’t stop the noise nor the thoughts from hurting, they couldn’t move because they were terrified of something that only they could see. They fought for so many years I guess they fight was unmanageable. Mental illness is a never ending battle. It was getting more difficult for Ash to hide. They frequently discussed their inner thoughts and I did try to help. They also had other support systems. It got better for a while before, but, in the end, there’s nothing anyone of us could have done. In Ash’s words "Don’t cry if I don’t come back. Everything is temporary’
Ash tried their best. I know this with certainty. I saw this every time we spoke. The moment that they decided to move on from the world, that was Ash doing the best for them in that moment. Ash did this with clarity in their mind. Ash wanted peace. This was the end of their line. Their choice left a hole in my heart and in the hearts of so many.
I keep trying to be mad at Ash but I can’t seem to manage it. It was always like that with Ash. They’d do so many annoying things, but I could never stay mad at them. There was too much love in the heart even though they didn’t want you to know it
I love you, Ash, your my best friend
Don’t cry if I don’t come back, everything is temporary, bye 🖤- Ash bannister