They always talk about the stages of grief. Denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. You know the part that is really dreadful though? The Avoidance. I’m not in denial. I know you’re dead. But now- I avoid. I see family post videos, pictures, memories, and cries for support... and I avoid. I feel uncomfortable. I want them to stop. Because I know you’re dead. Then there is this shitty stage of guilt and empathy that seems to come with tragic loss. You felt so alone all the time... you reached out to everyone. Called all the time- and yet there were times I avoided your calls. Times I was anxious or felt like I didn’t have the energy. Now I’m sitting here feeling lonely, and feeling your absence more than ever, and it fucking sucks. This is what you felt, isn’t it? I’m sorry. I’m sorry I let you feel lonely. I’m sorry I didn’t pick up. I’m sorry I let you down. I’m sorry you had a needle when all you needed was someone to be there. I’m sorry I am avoiding you, even in death...

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I’m back to the stage of gut wrenching anger with your death. They caught your dealer on a DUS. More details are coming out and I am back to wondering if he murdered youYou let him stay for free, because you cared about other addicts. But suddenly when you tried to set boundaries and make him leave, your last text saidcome get me ASAP” and in one of your last phone calls you said you were scared of him. Your drug of choice was meth, not fentanyl. Their stories about where they were while you sat dead do not add up. Your apartment burned down that very next week and they went and claimed red-cross. But no one is willing to investigate the death of “a junkie.” No one really cares. They avoid dealing with the details. You deserved better. I’m sorry that your kind heart was used by so many, up to the very end. I’m so sorry for what he’s getting away with. If you’re reading this, somewhere out there in the universe, just know that I won’t avoid you anymore. Your life mattered. We won’t forget you, or what they did to you. I love you.

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