I wasn’t there when they pulled your body from the water.
The lifeless form that had the face that I had hashtagged onto life itself.
A face that was always more alive than I thought possible.
I wasn’t there when they tried to bring you back.
When they thumped upon your chest stuffing oxygen down your throat.
Hoping that if somehow they did this long enough
The blood from the back of your head would stop
The damage done would be erased.
I wasn’t there when the helicopter came
Or when your heart started to beat miraculously.
I wasn’t there when your family got there
With red rimmed eyes from flying across the world
To watch their world be pumped by machine with life.
I wasn’t there when they turned the machines off.
When they sang a hymn and you were gone.
But I was in the apartment when I heard the news.
I laughed and thought it was a joke.
It was impossible for you to die.
It was you!
And I was on my knees praying.
And I was in that parking lot that night where we sang hymns
And asked that you’d be alright.
I was there when when we got the phone call you were breathing on your own.
I was there when we heard that you weren’t any longer.
I was there when she sat screaming on the front lawn
And even our witch of an apartment manager didn’t complain.
I was there when we heard the news your family had landed.
I was there when we heard they turned the machine off.
And I was there for every weepy night from there on out.
Every night the dwindling numbers of us would convene.
Silently saying your name when we looked in each others eyes.
Knowing something was now missing from the world.
And I was there when your sister said how brave you were
And all I knew was that she must have learned it from you.
She stood in front of her elders and told them not to cry.
And so I may not have been at the accident.
I may not have been at your funeral.
I may have never seen your tombstone.
But I know you changed my life.
I know I am different because of you.
I know I will always miss you.