Its a bit weird to be sitting here writing you another letter. I thought those days ended with your discharge, but here I am writing you because you’re away again. But this time you won’t be coming home. I’m so very proud of everything you accomplished here on earth. I want you to know that there is a big empty void in my heart that will be filled when we meet again. Don’t worry about your family, they have so much love and support. They don’t realize that just being family with you has made them family with me, and I want them to realize this. If everyone turns away from them I will be there, I promise you this. I’m just some girl that went to school with you in some of their eyes but you know and I know that’s not true. I put so many songs on my Spotify playlist just for you , I blast Drops of Jupiter with the windows down every time it comes on in the car. I’ve watched our choir performances that I recorded and the video of you and your mom singing. It’s just strange to think you’re not away with the Army.
You were going to be in my wedding, but you were away and that’s fine because you were serving our country just like you wanted for so long. Your brother came and that made my whole day knowing that even though you weren’t there your family still was, he told me he was there in your place and that meant the world to me. Well when my marriage failed, quickly you asked me if you could kick my ex’s ass but of course I said no. Sometimes I wish I would’ve said yes ha ha. But even though I don’t really want to do the marriage thing again, if I do it will be a long time away, in the back of my head I thought maybe next time you’ll be my “man of honor”, we might actually have a chance. But now that will never happen. That’s totally OK though, you did what you had to do and I’ll never ever judge you for that. I may ask why, but I cannot judge you because like Train lyrics said “Your best friend always sticking up for you . Even when I know you’re wrong”.
I suffer depression too, that’s the main reason why I cannot judge you. The one thing I wish you knew is that you could’ve came to me with anything and it would’ve never left my ears. I asked you when you were in Germany if you were OK multiple times. I found our messages, you told me you were sad. I had no idea what you were going through and you wouldn’t open up to me about it, that’s OK. I don’t talk about my inner demons either. I went through all of our messages on Facebook and I laughed probably for a solid hour because it was always some girl drama with you. I predicted your son in Germany I said “We don’t need any German babies OK?” this was months before it happened and he said “why not?” you longed to be Papa John’s I knew you did. It was adorable, and you have 2 beautiful sons that look so much like you the resemblance is uncanny. You loved them more than you loved yourself, and your family will forever let them know this. They will tell you of the amazing man you were.
So here I sit December 3rd 2018 trying to finish something I started back in October…better late than never. But not a day goes by where I don’t look up to the sky or turn on the radio and think of you. You were my best friend, you told me you’d always be there for me and I knew that. I feel like you’re still here for me. But giving me strength to get through the shit that I’ve been dealing with. I think I had to write this for some kind of closure, I don’t feel guilty in the sense that it feels like it’s my fault cause I had nothing to do with what you did. I feel guilty because it’s been over a year since we last talked. I was going through a divorce and you had your baby Jackson. I just wish that I reached out to you, for Christ’s sake I reached out to Jacob a few months before you killed yourself worried about him, it was just in a few comments on Facebook. But still, I had no idea you were the one who really needed it. Why didn’t I think to ask you if you were okay too? PTSD and all I should’ve known. But I’m only one person I suppose, but what if that’s all it took? I’m sure I’m not the only one who feels this way. I’ve rekindled friendships asking people if they are okay, and I’m going to continue to do this because I don’t think I can deal with anymore loss. I don’t want you to be gone, I just don’t want to believe it. I visit your grave sometimes, I promise I’ll come with flowers too but our weather has been so bad and unpredictable. I know you’re not there but I’m going to honor the person you were and it’s just so peaceful to pray there with you.
Your death has taught me life is short, shorter than I ever expected. You never know when someone is going to be taken away from you. But it’s also taught me so much about suicide in veterans. 22 a day is 22 too many. I don’t know if you were 1 or 22 but you were a statistic and I don’t want that for anyone else. I want to spread so much awareness, and I will and I’m never going to stop. I won’t ever forget all you’ve done for me, you taught me friendship guys and girls can be friends even best friends without there being any strings attached ha ha, you taught me strength because you’re the strongest soldier I’ve ever met. I’m going to continue to fight my battle with depression and anxiety in your honor. Please save me a spot in Heaven right next to you because one day my friend we are going to meet again.
I love you my ‘buddy’, AKA J-red, AKA Jared Smooth Criminal Johns,
Carly (She’s Bad) Johnson AKA Carlyhorse