Dear Jacob

Published in Featured - 2 mins to read

Dear Jacob,

I don’t really know how to start writing this, even though I’ve already spent the better part of my day contemplating it. It’s not something I expected to have to write today, and it hurts me a lot that you will never have the opportunity to read it.

You might never have realised, but I looked up to you in a lot of ways. I long admired your confidence, the way you held yourself, and the way you could be so at ease while talking to anyone, whether they were a stranger or a friend. You were an effortlessly talented fencer but on the other hand your discipline and commitment in the gym was something that inspired me to dig deep and stick to my own training regime even when my motivation was lacking.

My memories of you are all of you smiling, laughing, and having a huge amount of time to talk to me, even though we were such different people in many ways. That’s why I couldn’t believe it when I heard, and to an extent I still don’t think it’s real. It’s an awful cliché, but I never would’ve guessed - you always seemed so happy to me, so in love with life.

It’s difficult not to feel overcome with “what-if”s, although I know that wouldn’t help me or you now. I wish I’d spoken to you more explicitly about my own struggles, but now I understand more fully the importance of talking about these issues out loud, in public, to anyone who’ll listen. Things are a lot better for me than they once were, and part of the reason this hurts so badly is because I know they could’ve become a lot better for you too. This serves as a reminder to me that there is still work to be done, and we collectively have a long way to go in the way in the way we discuss mental health issues, particularly for men. There is a certain amount of bleak irony that I am writing this on World Suicide Prevention Day, something I would typically not engage with - now I will, and I want to do more to help others.

I know you wouldn’t have wanted me, or anyone else, to be upset. I also now know that you were hurting a lot, and it brings me some comfort that you’re not anymore. Both of those things pale in comparison to the sadness I feel now you’re gone though.

Goodnight buddy, I’m going to miss you.

See other posts in the Dear Jacob series