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A Birthday to Remember

When Tim died I inherited his books.  I’m a book lover so it make the most sense for me to take them.  Last weekend I pulled his Allen Ginsberg book from the shelf to read.  A picture fell from the book into my lap.  It was a picture of Tim holding AK’s baby.  As I gently picked the picture up I was overwhelmed with emotion.  I tried to fight the tears, but finally gave up and allowed myself to cry.

Why do my tears always have Tim’s name on them?  As I think about it 80% of the tears shed over the past four years have been Tim tears.  He’d be so pissed at me for that.  I can just hear him lecturing me that crying only dehydrates you.  He was such an emotional bad ass.  Nothing affected him.  Or so we thought, and then he took his own life.

Death is funny.  Not funny ha-ha, but peculiar.  I’ve cried more over Tim’s death than I have over my own grandmother dying.  It was her time; she had lived a full life.  Tim hadn’t, but he could have.  He just chose not to.  Idiot.

I couldn’t stop thinking about Tim the remainder of the weekend.  So many Tim stories were running through my mind.  I jotted as much down as I could so I’d remember to write about them later.  It wasn’t until Monday morning when I noticed the date that I realized why Tim had been so prevalent the last few days. August 11th is Tim’s birthday. After seeing the date I panicked.  I couldn’t remember how old he was, and then it hit me: Tim doesn’t get older.  Tim is gone.  And guess what… it’s really hard to have birthday cake with the dead.

Happy birthday Motherfucker, I miss you.


  • “Happy birthday Motherfucker, I miss you.”
    My brother has been gone 8 years in Sept- And that’s what I think to myself on his birthday too 🙂
    19 forever…:(

  • I’m so sorry you’re still hurting.
    Happy birthday, Tim.

  • My best friend from highschool took her life a couple of years after she got to college. It is painful time because her birthday and the anniversary of her death are within a month of each other.

    The pain will never leave, but it will become bearable. Never stop reliving the memories.

  • My grandmother took her own life when I was 12. It still hurts.
    I still have dreams that she is walking down the sidewalk in front of me. I can tell it’s her by the back of her head. She stops at a light, waiting to cross the street – but when I catch up to her. It’s not her.

    I don’t think the tears ever stop altogether. And birthdays or anniversaries are always reminders.

    My grandmother died on New Years 1975. I will never forget it.
    And every new years I always remember.

    Happy Birthday to your friend, Tim.

    I am sorry for your loss.

  • I often feel like I will run into him somewhere. Or I feel like I just saw him last week. He left such an impression on everyone he met that I don’t think he will ever really be gone.

  • There’s something that happens when people take their own life. I’m not sure what it is, but it seems like they haunt us for many years to come. Maybe it’s harder for us to heal because we don’t fully understand the why of it? I mean I’ve lost plenty of family and friends where we knew they were dealing with cancer or they were just plain old. I can wrap my brain around that situation when it’s time to go.

    Yet years ago my boss killed his two 18 mo old twins and then turned the gun on himself and THAT situation I can’t wrap my head around STILL – he seems to haunt my brain now and then. I swear I see the back of his head in a crowd at times – WEIRD.

    Maybe they’re sorry they did it and that’s why they don’t really leave us? Who knows.

  • I’m really touched that Tim had that photo is his book. I know which one… Fuck. I can’t cry at 10am.
    The last thing AK gave me to take out of the garage when we sold our house a few weeks ago was a little plastic box with the autumn leaves I picked up from Tim’s front yard with Boy AK when he died. I find photos of him here and there when I do some serious cleaning. Moments like these – I just have to sit and remember to breathe.

  • I am a new reader to your blog so I don’t know the full history of your friend but as someone who just lost a friend due to suicide this year, i feel your pain. deeply. my friend’s 30th birthday is this friday and i dont know how i’ll get through the day. he’s only been gone for a few months and its still soaking in.

    hang in there.

  • As a Troll with any shred of decency would do, I await tomorrow for an innuendo filled comment to be made on another post.

  • Wow. This is a really strong post. I hate to ask, but which Ginsberg book was it!?!?!

  • Suicide is a tragedy inflicted in a moment of shortsightedness. That’s why these deaths are so much more difficult to deal with than others. They didn’t have to happen.

    I’m very sorry.

  • (((hugs))) I’m sorry Sarah. Death, especially suicides, are always something that’s hard to get over. I’m so very sorry you are having a bad time right now.

    Here’s to happier days with memories that won’t make you sad emotional but more happy emotional!


  • Every time you post about Tim it helps me live another day, because I don’t want my husband and kids to be sad, even though in my mind I think they would be better off without me.

  • What a poignant post. I’m so sorry for your loss.

  • I hope that writing this helped some. It’s very cathartic and this is some powerful stuff.

  • Wow, Sarah. The comment above from Anonymous stopped me cold. Whenever you can’t understand why it still hurts to think about Tim, remember that putting your grief out there for people to read is making a huge difference to someone. Thank you for laying your soul bare for all of us to benefit from, especially Anonymous’ family.

  • You’re not crying alone.

  • As negative as this sounds I feel the same way as the above person. I think about suicide more than most. The first time I read your post titled “Three Years Later” I knew I couldn’t go through with it. I may not have a tight family network I do have friends that could feel the way you do.

    I’m sorry for your loss, but because or your loss I am too here.

  • I’d like to hear more about Tim. Who was he to you? How did you find him? I would love to hear the story of it all.

    Moderator: http://zakiye.blogspot.com

  • Wow- thanks for sharing. The first comment I ever wrote on a blog was the last time (I think) you shared something about Tim. I lost a best friend too- about four years ago and can hardly even have it mentioned still. It wasn’t suicide but I felt like things were unresolved.

    Anyway, I just wanted to say- I’m feeling ya. I’m in FL and trying to spend some time right now thinking about something other than a missing toddler, Caylee Anthony (helpfindcaylee.com)…so even though it wasn’t a happy story… I like the way you tell your stories, and I think those that have left us are watching and don’t mind being featured in a good story or two.

    BTW my birthday is 8/11, I’m a book FREAK and my name is Kim- I’m just saying. We’re just ageing. 😉

  • I probably won’t start stalking you.

  • I completely know how you feel. I lost a friend a year ago last March. He was 35. A meth addicted a-hole decided it would be a great idea to drive high. He crossed the center line and hit my friend head on. My friend died and the meth addicted a-hole lived without a scratch and only got 61 months for vehicular homicide.

    I know it’s not the same thing as suicide, but I understand how hard it is to wrap your mind around something like this. My friend left a wife and two sons who are now 4 and 6.

    It’s just awful. I’m so sorry for your loss.

  • Ug. I have a friend that went in that same selfish direction, now 11 years back. It certainly has gotten easier with time, but as his anniversary comes close (next week… it was his birth and death day 8/23) I was just blessed with the best dream. One of those dreams were the person just appears, and is all like… hey, sorry, i was a little busy… and I’m like, Dude, are you serious? I thought I really lost you there for the last 11 years… and then immediately everything is just fine. off and laughing again… THE BEST DREAMS EVER! I hope you have one soon.

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