Losing an old friend

I wrote this after finding out a friend of mine had killed himself. He’d always had problems with life, but I never thought he’d go so far.

For Mike

I wondered what happened to you,
Not having heard anything in a long time.
I searched the net and stumbled across a note
More than a year ago, you passed away.

Instantly I thought about the past,
Images and memories flooding my mind.
I thought of the good things,
more than half a lifetime away.

You were my friend during my brush with death,
and for the years I was depressed.
But you hurt people I cared for and
I let our friendship fail.

There were things I could never tell you.
Things better left unsaid, I thought.
Foolish thoughts of a young mind.
But who was I trying to protect.

Although I avoided you as time wore on.
I heard from you here and there.
Positive notes, rising against your demons,
And boy… you had a bunch.

But you found your way out for a time.
A new family and new career,
I was proud of what you had found
But then silence for many years.

We parted ways so long ago.
What happened in your path I cannot know.
Could I have helped or even tried?
Another of my old friends has died….