Justin touched so many lives in his short time on this earth. Although he and I haven't spoken in years, my heart has always held a special place for him. Justin and I grew close in high school. Many of you know that I became pregnant with my first son in my senior year. I was afraid, alone, and isolated. It was one of the darkest, most difficult times of my life. Justin helped me through this time. When most people moved on with their lives, Justin remained one of my closest friends. He came to the hospital to see me when I had my son. He didn't even flinch when the nurse emptied my catheter right in front of him! He wrote me through his basic training. When he came home to visit, we would get together. Once we went out to eat when my son was very young. My son cried and cried through the whole meal. I was overwhlemed and frustrated. I don't think I ate a single bite. Justin was calm and supportive; he granted me so much grace and kindness. I've never forgotten that... Time went on like it does. I went on with my life, and Justin was serving our country. We lost touch.. Too long between phone calls and too many unanswered texts. I was overjoyed when I saw Justin had a little family of his own. I'm sure he was as wonderful of a father as I imagine he would have been.
The grief that I feel has been overwhelming at times. The world seems just a little less bright without Justin here. I did not know the demons he faced and the struggle he fought. I'll have to live with the regret of never knowing if I could have been there for him the way he was there for me. My deepest, sincerest of condolences go out to his family. I can't image the heartbreak you are feeling right now. I hope time brings you healing and your memories give you comfort.
Thank you, Justin. You were the light in my life when it was filled with darkness. You were there for me when I had no one else. I'm sorry; I didn't realize how lucky I was to have you. I am eternally grateful for your kindness and your friendship. May you find the peace you deserved.