On February 14, 2010, our community was struck with news that would devastate many. My best friend had called me the next day to tell me the news. Benjamin Meadows had passed away. I didn’t know what to say. It was surreal. The next couple of days it never hit me. The idea that a good friend and great father to two babies and wonderful husband would not be here to talk to… to smile at us… to make us laugh.
The obituary made it official and brought tears to my eyes. A great man left the world behind. Someone that many of us had loved spending time with in high school. Granted I had not seen Ben for a while. We reconnected via Myspace and it was great to know that he was doing good for himself and his beautiful family.
I went to his funeral on Friday. The drive there was good because I had not thought of where I was going and that I was going to say goodbye to a dear friend. After I had signed the guest book, I was okay until I saw my friend Josh and the look on his face broke my heart a little more. We hugged and I sat by myself on a pew with a family I did not know. I couldn’t sit next to anyone I knew for it would just bring the tears sooner than I wanted. The service began and they wheeled in Ben’s coffin. This bad dream became a reality before my eyes and all I wanted to do was run out of the church because I could not wrap my head around it all. The tears fell and I had to hold back how much it hurt me to see his family and friends in this state of grief. Even more myself because I had known him and thought very highly of him. After the service I drove out to see my boyfriend while he was at work and more tears fell. This time heavily and no holding back. Ronald held me, told me he loved me and then told me to go on home and rest and that he would come over work. I got home and my parents asked me how it was. More tears fell and then my father held me while I cried even more. But today I feel I am okay. It is hard to talk and think about still but I am okay because I know now that he is okay. That he is in a better place.
No one can understand why people do the things they do. We all want to know why but unless you have been at the crossroads like Ben was, it is hard to imagine taking your own life. But I understand it all too well because I had been in that position before. That feeling of being lost and hopeless is painful and overwhelming. It’s like being stuck in a black hole and never really knowing which way to get out. Ben had a lot on his plate and could not learn to manage this chaotic life. He lost sight of himself and his love for God but now has taken God’s hand and is watching over every one of us that had come to love that blue eyed class clown.
You may have your opinion on the act of suicide. And say that he was being selfish to leave behind his family to pick up the pieces and to leave his wife to become a widow and two children fatherless but you have to understand that he was never a selfish man in the years that he lived. Even though he may be gone, those children will never forget what a great man Ben was. For his wife and children have the best support system anyone can imagine right now. He had touched many of us with his genuine kind acts and the obvious love he had for life.
We do not blame him. And his act does not make us love him any less. I am thankful and completely blessed to have known such a great person. I hope to one day become half the person Benjamin Meadows was. He may be gone but his memory will live on. Not only through our fond memories of times spent but through his two beautiful children that will grow up and make him proud.
We miss you Benjamin Lee Meadows and we will never forget you. Our love for you will last forever and we hope that you have finally found your peace. We will one day meet again my friend.
“Sometimes we fall down and can’t get back up, we’re hiding behind skin that’s too tough, how come we don’t say I love you enough, till it’s too late… till it’s not too late.” (Kris Allen, Live like We’re Dying)