Since the last time I wrote you, my best
friend died. He had a brain aneurysm that burst and was in a coma
for a couple of days. At first I was fairly stunned and shocked.
Bill was in good shape and didn't smoke or drink. I'm glad that
he didn't suffer, that it was quick and not painful. My heart aches
for his wife and family. I cried the first couple of days and since
then it's been getting better day by day.
I have known Bill for nearly forty years.
We became good friends in the 80s, and when I was arrested in 1990,
he was one of the very few people that didn't abandon me. His friendship
was truly rare and special and I will miss him for the rest of my
But in the days after he died, while
I was deep in reflection and remembering, I was able to see through
the loss and grief. He wouldn't want people crying over his death,
so I put that behind me.
The thing that stands out clear to me
is that death is simply a part of life. When the time comes and
someone you love dies, it is just the natural progression of life.
Instead of being all bummed-out about him being gone and all the
plans that we had to do things once I got out, l've found solace
in the fact that this good and decent human being was an important
part of my life for many years. Instead of being upset that he's
gone, I'm very thankful that I had the opportunity to know him.
Friends like him are so few and far-between. Chances are I will
never know another man of his ilke and that's okay.
I knew him, and he died knowing that I
loved him and valued his friendship, because I used to tell him
and his wife how much they meant to me. That was a lesson I learned
after my dad died. I never told him how much I loved him, and I
didn't have the chance to when he died. That messed me up for a
long time. So now I tell the people I love and who are important
to me what I felt for them. There is no ambiguity. I like it that
way. And since I've come to prison I'm better at telling people.