Jonah Benkert was my pal. I learned to love him just the way he was. I always clearly saw the two sides he had to the person he was. There was the exciting, fun, vibrant, daring, and edgy side. And, there was the quiet, reflective, sensitive, compassionate side. Jonah loved life and had more opportunities to travel, create, play, and evolve than most people; I know could dare only think or dream of. He was innovative, relevant, strong and kind. I think I always recognized similarities about him in me. However, something bigger, something stronger, something beyond my control lingered beyond our reach. Ultimately, I suspect he felt he was a disappointment, beyond help, and without hope. His pain, unmet needs and unaddressed emotions ran deep like a dark chasm. Drugs and alcohol were a great way to escape, forget and avoid. I know that firsthand. We both knew it. We both used, we both hid, we both covered up the wounds of the past, the secrets, the lies, and the beautiful truth. I am angry, sad, disappointed, perplexed, regretful, and strangely accepting that he ended his life this past year. I love you Jonah.
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