I sat across the Thanksgiving table from Tristan’s best friend. I listened to him share about his life now. As he talked I noted the details of his sweet face. He had matured.  Tristan and he were toddlers together and shared their whole life. I found a description of their friendship as I was reading Exodus: “your friend who is as your own soul.”

It felt good and bizarre all at the same time to see the same face I usually saw right next to Tristan’s. It felt good and desperate all at the same time to hug him goodbye. On the way home I cried and cried for all the pain Tristan had caused by leaving his best friend alone. He was the last person he talked to. Tristan didn’t say goodbye. He just took off his headset and let his friend keep talking, thinking he was still there. I think it was because Tristan didn’t want to say goodbye and didn’t want to be alone to go off and die. He loved his friend and he loved us.

When I shared with my friend Trish that I was mad about Tristan causing his best friend so much pain, she said, “I get mad at Tristan too for that.  But then I feel bad because I think it’s saying that Tristan’s pain is less important than other’s pain.”

That helped. My boy was hurting enough to want to die. That is a lot of pain! And I have to remember that when someone is in a suicidal state they are only thinking about relief. If they were thinking of how much it would hurt us, they would stay. Now we are all hurting enough to want Jesus to come back so we can all be together.

God knows about special friendships because He describes them, “He who is as your own soul”. He knew Tristan would form a friendship like that. He knew it would be ripped apart. Jesus did this with His own friends when He chose them to be part of His life. They were designed to go through the trauma of His time of torture and crucifixion. Before the foundation of the world God planned for those 12 men to play the parts they played. God will use Tristan’s loss to shape his best friend’s life.

I can’t take away his pain. I have to give it to God as much as I give my own pain to God. I just wish I could carry it for him, like I wanted to carry Tristan’s.

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Dear Lord, Help him. Please counsel him with your eye upon him and hold him close.  In Jesus’ name, amen.