The ambulance took him away about an hour ago. At first it was so hard to see his body go out the door, but then I remembered… that isn’t him; only a house for his soul while he walked this earth.
I can see him in the warm spring sun. As it radiates down on me and in through the windows, I can tell that he’s in it. Pieces of him are all around me, and I swear I can almost feel his breath, whispering into my ear, reminding me that he’s never going to leave me for as long as I’m still stuck on this planet.
We’ve spent the time since cleaning out his room; cleaning up the remains of a life that no longer exists. The process has been hard for all of us, it feels like we’re purging his memory, in a sense. Of course that’s not true; all we’re doing is livening up the place a bit, but it’s something that needs to be done at one point or another, might as well do it while everything is fresh in our minds.
“Frank, Mikey… come over here.” Ray said.
Mikey and I left our stations and met Ray beside Gerard’s bed.
“What is it?” Mikey asked.
Ray held a note in his hands, and raised it for us to see.
“Shit…” Mikey whispered.
“I found it under the sheets.” Ray said. “Here.”
He handed it over to me, and Mikey huddled behind me and read over my shoulder.
Frank, Ray, and Mikey…
By the time you read this, I’ve probably left this world. I’m writing this without sight, so I apologize if it’s hard to make out. I have some things that I wanted to say to all of you, in a way that you could still have in front of you for years after I’m gone. So, here goes.
Mikey. You were the best brother I ever could have asked for. Sometimes I wasn’t as good to you as I could’ve been, and maybe I’ve said some things throughout my life that I regret… but I love you, with all of my heart. Ever since we were little kids, you were my best friend, my support, my bandmate, and so much more. Some of my fondest memories that run through my mind when the world seems bleak are of me and you. I want you to know that I’m looking down on you right now, and I’m so damn proud of you. You will never do anything that will make me stop loving you, and I’ll always be there for you in one form another, just like you were for me.
Ray. Shit, I don’t know what we would have done without you. There is no doubt, I owe my life to you many many times over. You have not only saved me from ending my life intentionally, but unintentionally as well. You were our parents on tour when we didn’t have any; the “glue”, as we always used to say. You are one of the most talented musicians I have ever worked with, and I look forward to watching you every day from heaven as you unfold your talent and share it with the world. Take care of Frank and Mikey for me… make sure they don’t kill themselves or each other (intentionally or unintentionally). I would have trusted you with my life, so I sure as hell trust you with everything that’s left of it. I love you, keep doing what you’re doing because you’re doing it right.
Frank. I don’t quite have the words to say what you mean to me. You were always one of the most important people in my life, from the moment I first met you. Your smile could light up the worst of my days, and just looking at your face when you were happy had the power to heal nearly any sickness. Saying that, you CANNOT blame yourself for not being able to save me. There’s a reason that what happened happened and though I don’t know what it is yet, it’s there. And nothing anyone ever could have done would have changed it. But thank you for making not only my good days, but my bad days all worth it in the end. You’re one of the kindest, funniest, most genuine people I’ve ever met, and that’s why I fell for you as hard as I did. And I don’t regret it in the slightest. Keep shining on because sweet heart, you’re brighter than a diamond. Never forget how much I love you, forever and always.
I want you three to stick together and keep running from where I stopped. What we had was something life changing, something powerful. And just because I’m not there to be a part of it anymore, doesn’t mean it has to end. I’m still there for you, I promise. I’m whatever you want me to be. If you’re scared of the shadows, I’ll fight them away. If you’re cold, I’ll be the sun that warms you up. If you’re lonely, I’ll be your imaginary friend. If you’re scared, I’ll give you that little push forward. And if you find yourselves missing me, I’ll hold your hand and never let go.
Don’t you dare say goodbye, because goodbye means going away. If you call for me, I’ll come running as fast as I can. I’m everywhere that you want me to be.
A single tear fell from my eye and onto the paper as I read the last words.
“How did he do this, I mean…” I started to say, but then couldn’t find the words to finish.
This world doesn’t always have answers.
“We’ll never know.” Ray smiled. “That’s Gerard for you.”
“You guys really think he’s here?” Mikey cried.
“I know he is.” I said.
I stood outside on the porch, letting the breeze caress my skin and sun radiate down onto me. And I could see him and feel him in absolutely everything.
He was so right. Even then, he knew that although he was going to leave this world, he would never leave us.
And I found myself able to smile, and mean it. Because I knew he would be looking down on me, and maybe my smile would make him smile, just like it used to.
I’m everywhere that you want me to be.