When Dylan died, 14 young men—ages 19-21, attended his funeral. They called themselves “brothers,” and they all grew up in and around my neighborhood, and they all attended the same schools. These are tightly-knit friends who have known each other since they were 5-8 years old and with whom they shared all of their growing up years. There probably wasn’t a weekend from the time Dylan was 11 or 12 until he moved out at age 19 that one or more of these boys weren’t at my house. During the week, Jack or Jeramiah would come over to play football or frisbee, or to game along with Dylan. They were all into gaming—World of Warcraft, Call of Duty—every time I see something new issued for these games, I cringe. I know how much Dylan loved gaming, and I think about the extreme pain and darkness he must have felt to take his own life. I remember when World of Warcraft released something new in early July (Dylan died June 25th) and I thought then as I think now, Dylan wasn’t in his right mind because the Dylan I knew and loved would have been first in line at the video/gaming store, right alongside his friends, racing home to play the new game until they “leveled.”
I loved those days. Do they even know they helped me grow up, too? After Saturday night sleepovers, getting up early to start frying the bacon, dice the potatoes, crack the eggs, make the toast, lay out the milk, orange juice, butter, and jam. Pizza on Friday nights, birthday parties, gaming–I miss everything, all the years, everybody.
If you’re reading this post and you grew up with Dylan, please send me an email with whatever you’d like to put in your post and I’ll get it posted here. And pictures–if you’ve got pictures of you now, you then, Dylan, whatever, please forward. I’ll get it posted. Missing all of you–