Never a day goes by that I do not wish you were here. In 2016, when a longtime friend of mine finally was able to retrieve some photos of you for me after I had lost mine in my divorce, an overwhelming feeling came over me. It released so much pain and brought so many tears of joy to my face. I had almost forgotten your face. It felt like it would be the closest I would come to seeing your face again. The scariest thing I ever felt was when I forgot the sound of your voice. The last time I heard it was when you visited me for my 5th birthday. You died weeks later. I had so few memories of us, some more suppressed due to a head injury I sustained in a car accident as a child. But every year on the anniversary of your death somehow I always receive a “message” from you, a piece of a memory I had forgotten or a visible sign. Last year it was Teddy Grahams. My daughter brought them home from the store and told me she had a “feeling” to buy them. She shared them with me. Then a very sharp memory came of when you and I were at the park sharing Teddy Grahams while the rest of the family was around. I used to get frustrated when I couldn’t remember more memories, but now I am not as frustrated. I look at them as a gift from you and anticipate your “gifts” every year. It’s the one thing that keeps me feeling closest to you. Please say hello to my son for me and hold him close always. Your oldest nephew says to please play lots of Hot Wheels with him and talk to him all about trains because that’s what he would have done and that’s what he does with Reign Ash’s surviving twin brother. It hurt to lose Reign, but it was the one way you could still be an uncle to one of my kids and probably feel like a dad at the same time. Raise him well where you both are. Keep the Mustang running for me when my time comes and I can see you again and finally meet my other son. I want to thank you for sending Carol to me, too. Being close friends with one of your closest friends fills my soul. Thank you for sending her to look out for me and the kids. I promise I will do the same in return. Your spirit and energy is missed in this world, but I know one day I will have the honour of being graced by it again. You went through so much in this world and I truly believe if mental health discussion was not considered taboo or stigmatized back then you could have been able to face the demons of the past that traumatized you. The one person I needed was you, but now because of you I can hopefully bring hope and awareness to others.
Suicide should always be talked about. Mental health should be talked about. Before something bad happens. Taking your own life does not end your pain, it curses those you leave behind leaving many shattered pieces to be gathered over an endless amount of time. Even after years ... many many pieces will still remain. Speak up.- A.M Canales