February 8th, 2023, is the day a dear friend of mine took his own life, and it is a day I will never forget. Those in his intimate circle knew about his struggles, but the rest of us were utterly shocked and gutted by the news. I have been spending the last two days selfishly wondering why I was so oblivious to his pain.
My heart aches for his wife, his immediate family and friends, and the rest of the people in his life who were fortunate enough to have been touched by his charismatic personality. He was the essence of joy. He infected the world with his wit and charm, as well as his brutal honesty. His generosity knew no boundaries, and he was always the guy who would be the first person to give you the shirt off his back if you needed it.
Robbie O was the friend we always wanted, and in our hearts, we knew we always needed. He was effervescent. He was quirky. He was one of a kind. The number of pictures taken of him flipping the bird make me want to do that in every future picture that will be taken of me.
In my attempt to distract myself from the emotions I am trying to deal with, I have been mindlessly scrolling through my social media pages to read tributes from other friends and see pictures of him I had not ever seen. Although I still cannot wrap my head around what happened, I am comforted by the abundance of thoughtful messages being shared in his memory, and the feeling that we are all trying to collectively figure out how to process this great loss.
While the generic buzz of social media is filled with pictures of food and Tik Tok videos, and life goes on around us, I see the innocuous posts about everyday life and I want to shout into the void. I want to scream into those obscured realities. I want to reach through computer screens and make the world aware of what is actually happening, and what the world will be missing in the absence of our dear friend.
I want people to realize what a great detriment we are all suffering through while we are still trying to accept our loss. We should all stand taller knowing he was in our corner. We should all puff our chests being able to say we knew him. And we should all hold every memory of Robbie O tight to our hearts while life goes on around us.