I wish we could turn back time, but since we can’t…
Thank you for being my friend over the past few months
For picking me up every Wednesday and making orchestra an anticipated event, a breath of fresh air to my week
For turning me on to The National, The Walkmen and that guy who sounds like Bob Dylan
For listening to me in anguish over my parents separation and stopping me to say
“Hey, I’m really sorry about your parents.” as I got out of the car
Like you may have felt my pain at a core deeper than I knew
Thank you for going out of your way to bring my sunglasses downtown
When I forgot them, for being so selfless…
When I tried to give you chocolate for your troubles to boost your serotonin
Your only concern was “I don’t want to take that big of a piece, it’s yours”
Thank you for laughing and joking around with me
Probably more than we should have in rehearsals
Thank you for crossing my path and reappearing at BARS
For laughing at my jokes in my vain attempts to entertain you and bring you joy
I wish I had known the depth of your pain
It wouldn’t have been a burden…
When thinking about the last rehearsal, our conversations
About whether we were or weren’t going to do the next set
And how happy you were at the concert
I am left to wonder:
If I would have dug deeper, would I have learned of the storm going on inside?
If I wouldn’t have said, “I don’t think I’m doing the next set” before I got out of the car would it have mattered?
If I would have agreed to come out with you and your friends on Saturday
When you invited me
Would I have had another opportunity to see a glimmer of your discontent
That we all could have tried to dissipate together?
If I had told you that I used to work on a suicide crisis hotline
Would that have opened a dialogue that might have averted this tragedy?
I don’t understand, why didn’t you say something?
Why couldn’t we have just postponed this irrevocable decision
Just a day, or even a few hours
Before you left this gaping hole on the earth where your spirit danced?
If you questioned for a moment whether your pain weighed more
Than the weight of the people who loved you
I hope you feel it now
I hope you are finally free and at peace.
And since we can’t change the past, and “What if’s?” are futile
We can only breathe into this new reality
And take care of each other the way you would have
With a big helping of selfless care and a joke on the side
A memorial fund in the honor of Michael James Bishop has been established with the “Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance” and can be accessed at the following website: http://www.dbsalliance.org/michaeljamesbishop