Missing Jimmy

How do you get over losing one of your closest friends? It’s not something people talk about very much. There are movies, articles, TV shows that discuss losing parents, spouses and children but there aren’t enough about what it’s like when one of your best friends dies. The movie “50/50” with Seth Rogen and Joseph Gordon-Levitt, which portrays two friends and the hardships they go through when one of them gets diagnosed with cancer, hits home in a lot of ways. But as Jimmy pointed out when we talked about the movie, it didn’t fully portray what an awful disease cancer is and what it does to a person.

Jimmy, I miss you …

  • I miss playing Nintendo Wii and losing to you in Mario Kart and Super Smash Bros
  • I miss going to the movies with you
  • I miss watching any stupid comedy show or movie (South Park, Family Guy, any Will Ferrell movie)
  • I miss getting Bellagio’s pizza (extra crispy per Dan’s orders!) and having dinner with you and your family
  • I miss going to Portland Trail Blazers’ games and your annual Super Bowl party
  • I miss digging deep about philosophical questions involving relationships, life and our purpose
  • I miss messing around and making off-color jokes that still make me laugh to this day

Dan, Jimmy and Willie at the Portland Trail Blazers. Dan is on the left wearing a Stanford baseball hat and black jacket; Jimmy in the middle wearing a Portland Trailblazers hoodie and beanie; Willie on the right wearing a gray sweatshirt with his arm around Jimmy

I still feel lost at times. Not sure how to feel, what to think, how to cope with the emotions of losing my best friend. Jimmy was someone I could always rely on, always talk to and always know that he was the best type of friend no matter the situation. Jimmy was the most caring, nicest, most genuinely curious person out there. He was curious about people and about life. You’d get the sense that when you talked to him, all that mattered in the world was you and what you were talking about. He was so positive and had such good energy. How do you cope with losing someone this special?

Part of my disorientation since Jimmy died may come from my difficulty with processing emotions and working through problems. I don’t do a good job of dealing with things well, and I tend to bottle up my emotions or push my feelings away. This only makes it harder. I know it’s important to confront the loss of someone close to you. It will be terribly difficult and heart wrenching, but you will get stronger over time. It’s good to let the emotions wash over you and focus on moving forward, continuing to take a step forward, as small as that step might be. Don’t procrastinate, side step or avoid dealing with the loss of someone you care about deeply. This will only make it harder and lead you farther away, which is something I did for far too long.

Jimmy taught me how to be a better friend. He was everything that you could want in a best friend, and I am the luckiest person to have been so close to him. Through my friendship with Jimmy and losing Jimmy, I have learned that one of the most important things is to focus on treating others as Jimmy treated those he loved and cared about. Nothing can bring back my closest friend, but I can use what I learned from Jimmy and what I saw Jimmy doing as a friend, and put that love and care into my friendships. There’s never a single answer for how to deal with losing someone you care about so deeply, but I like to think that continuing to act in the way your loved one would have acted is a good start. It will spread good vibes and foster positive relationships, and it might just make you feel a little better, too.

Willie on the left wearing a blue shirt and holding Susie, his pug. Jimmy is on the right wearing a black shirt.

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