Monday, December 7, 2009

on the fifth day of christmas, gone too soon

It is with great pain that I say goodbye to one of my oldest, funniest, sweetest friends, Jon. We were close since we were 12, and like several other young men I knew from middle/high school, Jon has taken his life. I'm sitting in Newport, equadistant from the graves of Brian and Stefan, friends who also succumbed to the seduction of suicide, in the city brimming with nostalgia, and I am stricken with grief. (I had to post this grainy obituary picture because my yearbooks and photographs are at home.) Jon was bombastic just like me, and he had a tender heart, which he denied, just like I did. I never would have survived the hour-long morning bus rides without him, in his seemingly hundreds of #22 jerseys. And he was the first boy I ever kissed.

The last time I saw him was in Newport just after the birth of his son, and he was so proud, so emotional, so tall. He loved Clyde Drexler, I liked Kevin Duckworth (if I had to pick a Trailblazer, that is), but we agreed, when our babies were born, that they in fact, were the most magnificent things on earth.

He died the day before his birthday. He left his cherished son and daughter, their mama, and a small class of 105 Newport High School alumni, who are now down nine.

It's too late for words. There aren't any. There are memories, what ifs, and gravestones at which to stare. I was going to visit Brian's tomorrow, but yours won't even be in the ground yet Jon, and you shouldn't be either. Fuck.

Jonathan Damon Strickland: 1976--2009.


gail said...

what a tragic loss, i'm so sorry. my heart goes out to him, his family, and all who loved him. <3

Pepper said...

He was such a cool guy and good friend, funny and energetic. It is so sad that the world will be short one more friend.

Wasn't that trip with him and George 5 minutes ago? What is going on?

Susannah said...

There are no words in a moment like this. My love and a wish for peace to everyone involved. <3

Hennifer said...

I am so sorry!

Angie said...

so sad....i loved Jon, such a sweet guy!

dobby said...

Damn. I'm so at a loss for words. I'm sorry for your loss, I'm especially sorry for his family's loss. I can only wish that they find peace sometime in the future.


Cheyenne said...

It's just incomprehensible that someone so vibrant is gone.

Mesina said...

I remember Jon, such a sweet guy. He just seemed to have a way about him that made you smile, although he and I were never really close he always said hello or smiled from time to time. How sad that he was driven to this. My heart goes out to him and his family right now, with the holidays looming.
9 of our alumni have passed on? Wow, just wow. We are all still so young. x