I hadn’t seen you cry since your mother passed away… And even then, I was too young to fully comprehend. Your body shook as you tried to catch the breath that so painfully left your lungs as they spoke those paralyzing words… I wasn’t looking at you; I couldn’t, but I felt it so very deep in my bones. With all I had, I tried to stay strong, for you. I went to hold your hand but the second I touched your ice cold skin, I felt my stomach fall to the ground. We cried together and mourned the loss of our good friend. She spoke about how much he loved you, how much you meant to him. But I could see the guilt behind your glassy eyes, how you blamed yourself for not being there… It’s not your fault. I promise… Please, forgive yourself. And remember, death leaves a heartache no one can heal, but love leaves a memory no one can steal… Rest in peace, Rudy.