It never gets easier dealing with death. You run out of tears after a while, but it never becomes easy. Especially when its one of your friends. There's shock and denial. You tell yourself that it's a temporary thing. You call your friend and leave him a voice mail telling him that you miss him and want to see him soon. You pace outside the last apartment you knew he lived in, hoping to catch him on his way out. And then it hits.
For me, it hit when I was in Brandon's tour van driving from Philly to DC. We passed Ben's home-city, Baltimore, on the way and that's when the tears started welling up. I focused my eyes on the ceiling, quietly telling myself what happened, as if I had been on an emotional leave, and eventually burying my hysterical face in my boyfriend's chest as he tries to console me.
The next day I boarded a train from DC to Baltimore to attend the funeral of my friend Ben. And all I can remember is him wrapping his arms around me and kissing every inch of my body in the most loving and playful way possible. All I can remember is him padding around my apartment fixing things as I proudly called him the apartment 3a houseboy. All I can remember is the squintiness of his eyes and the curves of his mouth.
A lot of people knew Ben Chappel. A lot more women knew him than anyone could ever imagine. He was enigmatic and charming. Sometimes confusing. Always painfully smart.
I never want to bury a friend again. I never want to say goodbye forever, again. Not this young. I'm so sorry, Ben. I'm so sorry.
A cute site that Ben made.
(Lizzy and Ben)