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I have a small group of guys I love hanging out with, a safe group to share life, talk, and have fun. Even though they know my story, they still want to be around me. They were getting together a few months ago, and I wanted to decline the invite. I struggled with it, desperately wanting out. I accepted, but then the day of I had to fight with myself to go. Fifteen minutes before time to leave the house, I nearly sent my regrets.

I went anyway despite the anxieties fueling my desire to stay home. When I go out, something always kicks me in my grief. Every time, and this one was no different. Sitting across the table from me was a boy I have known for many years, now a young man about the age Caleb was when he died. He is studious, intelligent, mature well beyond his age, and is deeply interested in history, philosophy, and the things which move world politics. Just like Caleb.

Since then, I have missed several meetings with these exceptional men. While I want to hangout, I cannot most days. I force myself to walk to the mailbox or run an errand just to get up. When my church places me on schedule to run sound, my heart leaps for joy as I have a distraction from my grief for a few hours. Sure, I love volunteering, but the distraction is most welcome.

How am I supposed to live like this? Do not worry, I refuse to die but also cannot truly live. Every thing reminds me of Alex, Emily, and Caleb. I see the type of car Caleb drove everywhere; the one he totaled this month five years ago, two months before dying. I struggled hard all this month, thinking it was because the five-year milestone was coming. The milestone of the events leading to the horrible day has been here all month.

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