Below is a Eulogy dedicated to Ian. In the Eulogy, it talks about the fun times, sad times and the dangers of drug abuse that can affect a friendship.
It's been three and a half years since you died, almost four. Sometimes I wonder how time could go by so quickly, especially when the first few weeks went by so slow. The nightmare I had a week after you died troubled me more than even the reality of your own death. In my dream you came to my parents and told them that I had to die. Never giving them a reason, they went ahead and forced me to box up my stuff, and setup up my own funeral. I had trouble getting my tuxedo on, and when I asked my mom for help, she told me: "Justin, would you just die already." I woke up in cold sweats and began to cry. That is how it started, my confusion about life, my misunderstanding of what our friendship really was.
This whole thing started at about ten thirty on September 10, 1996. You actually had moved from this place hours before that. Amy had been with you at the hospital for hours, Chris and Doug waited in tears in the lounge. I was in class, learning about God in a core curricular class, Theology. Ironic isn't it? I immediately knew something had been wrong when Pete came and got me right after class. He said that Amy and J had called. I knew it was about you. I thought you'd been beat up or that you had a DUI or something. You died to me the minute after Amy answered the phone crying, and J took over for her and said: "Justin man, I don't know how to tell you this so I'm just gonna tell you, Ian's dead man, I'm sorry." Life hasn't been the same since.
I realized a few months ago that I had a feeling inside me; it troubled me and ate my insides, yet I never knew what it was. Last week I woke up and realized why I felt so distraught. Two weeks before school started, three weeks before your death, you asked with honest eyes if I would perform a eulogy for you if you died. I answered without pause with an undoubted yes. I never knew how prophetic those words would be. Ian, I know now why I feel as if I haven't been able to get closure from your death, I never wrote your eulogy, I had the idea in my head, and someone else penned the words for me. I never honored you with my own eloquence; I never used my own love for you as a way to send you into your new beginning. I sit here, on my laptop in Baltimore, wishing to give you the send off I never properly gave you. I will do my best to pour all of my emotion out onto this paper, its been bottled up for so long, I hope I haven't forgotten.
I feel guilty, for not trusting you, for not knowing how important our friendship was to you. I hesitated at your drunken gestures because I thought that they weren't true feelings. I never accepted your drunken gestures because I thought that you were just muttering sentimental bs. You never expressed yourself to me except when you were drunk. I remember it so well, the classic Ian charm, and you'd put your arm around me and hug me and say: "Just man, you know you're my friend right? I'm serious man, I love you man." Sure Ian, I almost believe you when you're drunk.
Why couldn't you have told me that once when we were sober? Why couldn't you let me in? How is it that we went on for so long and I never knew what everyone else knew, that the whole time I thought I was following you by the coat tails, admiring you and wishing to be like you, you had been following me along, admiring me? I didn't believe it when I was told by Amy, and by Kate, and by Stacey how proud you were of me, and how you always would talk about me the way a best friend would. I never knew you felt that way, I'm sorry. I'm sorry I took your words for granted. I miss you so much nowadays. I wish I could have had one last chance to tell you that I knew; that I understood how you felt. The truth is, I'm only coming to grips with it now.
I left and went back to school barely twenty-four hours after you died. I dove into schoolwork and never came out until late into second semester. Needless to say, I got some of my best grades in that time. I know you would have been proud of me. I spent most of time working at the books in the library, I was hiding from my own pain, I didn't want to accept it, so I hid inside myself, outside of the whole world. My roommates urged me on, slowly but surely they got me to break back into life again, only after months of introspection. I didn't fully recover from my loss; rather I drown my sorrows in a collegiate drinking binge, which blurred the rest of my junior year. When I did sober up enough to recognize the pain I felt, I began to talk to my friends about you, about how much fun we had together, and about all of the crazy shit we did. Looking back it was pretty stupid, the things we did back then I only hope my kids never think to do. I finished up with school, I graduated with honors just like I told you I would, and I've begun to try and make something with my life.
This is what it’s all about, my recap of life since, it’s been series of ups and downs which I had no control over. It's been a rocky ride for me without you around to keep me going. Time continued on and I eventually found a girl or a new friend here or there to occupy my time. No one of consequence has crossed my path since you died. I think this is one of the biggest things I miss about you. You always kept my confidence up, you always made me stronger than I was, getting over women, persevering in school, your attitude kept me going. You wouldn't allow me to get abused by women even though I was a nice guy. Anytime I was down, you always yelled at me and told me to get my shit together, that I was better than that. Especially when it came to dealing with women. I was always kind of soft. Where are you now when I need you the most to help me keep my confidence up? It's like a part of me died with you, when your cocky attitude and confidence died with you; I lost the bravado I once had that I got from you. I want you to know how much I looked up to you, regardless of what our friends say, I felt like I was always second best to you. I wanted to be like you in so many ways, I can't begin to express the admiration I had for you, I only hope you saw it as everyone else did.
So here I am now, its summer time and I'm back in Norwalk to finish the last chapter of my life here. Its time for me to say goodbye to you, goodbye to your memory that lives in my heart and in my head, and makes me live my life as if I have some kind of purpose other than living life on my terms. I miss you, more than you could imagine. I was out last night and I ran into all of our friends, some asked about you, and how I was doing, others just didn't ask at all. That's what's weird about living in Baltimore and coming back here, even though you never came down to visit, there's still a part of you there. In Norwalk, it’s like I'm still walking around with you wherever I go.
This is it, my goodbye to you, my final tribute in my own words to your life and what it stood for. You will always be an inspiration to my life, I'm sure when I have kids, fate will deal me a child like you to remind me of the good times we had. This isn't to say I will ever forget you, or stop trying to fulfill the dreams we had, but understand that I need some closure in my life. Writing down for the last time my feeling surrounding your death helps me get over losing you. I read a novel based on true events of the life of an Egyptian scribe who wrote about the tales of his beloved queen and her mistress, his friend who was the great general of the pharaoh's army thousands of years before Christ. On the general's deathbed, the scribe placed a small figurine of himself, as a keepsake for his journey into the great beyond. Inscribed on the figurine were the last words he dedicated to his best friend.
"My name is Taita. I am a physician and a poet. I am an architect and a philosopher. I am your friend, I will answer for you." Even thousands of years later, these words speak volumes to me and what it means to have a friend who touches you in a lasting bond of friendship.
Remember that you will always be in my heart, and will serve as a guide in my life.
I will speak for you:
"I love you man, you know you're my friend right?"
Goodbye man, thanks for being there for me, stay close to my heart.
Drug abuse not only affects the family of the person who is struggling or loses their life to drugs, but all friends and loved ones suffer too.
To read more stories of people affected by drug abuse, click here