Because words are so important to both of us, I've been waiting to give you mine until I felt that I could accurately express how I feel. At first it physically hurt to still be here when you're not. For the first few days, I cried and cried and cried until I was so exhausted that I would fall asleep. Then I would wake up and remember. So I'd let the tears stream down my face and out of my body and into the world. I'm overwhelmed with a type of sadness I have never felt before. I used to be sad because there was so much suffering in life, and for what? That sadness has both been overridden and intensified (that might be confusing to some, but I know you know what I mean) by the fact that you’re no longer here, and that you didn’t want to be here so badly that you took the only final solution. Chance had things work that way, and I’m so sorry that we were ambushed like that. I'm sad because you're so entirely gone. And I'm so entirely here. And I don't want to be. I don't want to be in a world that wasn't fit to take care of you, a world where things like this are allowed to happen. You once told me that I couldn't let my heart carry all the pain and suffering of the world because then I'd lose the part of myself that allows me to be open and to give love honestly and freely. You saw the latter part before I had even considered that it was a possibility. It's amazing that we knew each other as well as we did with the little time that we spent together. One semester is not a long time. But your friends from Guilford grew to know and love you so much in that short time that there were two pews of us at your funeral, crying our eyes and hearts out, completely devastated, changed forever, because of your life. That speaks volumes to your ability to connect with others and build intellectual and emotional connections. The way that I navigate the existential labyrinth is through human connection. I think that you understood that, and that’s why we bonded so quickly. At your memorial today we sat in typical Quaker memorial worship silence after Evelyn and Max introduced and explained the worship. We then shared stories and lit candles for you. I lit a candle for your parents and sister because they couldn’t be there. I feel so much pain for all of them. The fact that your mom told me that I was a source of comfort to her meant so much to me. At the Guilford memorial, I told the story of the first night we met. I explained how I was exploring your bookshelf and was ecstatic to find Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace and a book I had never recognized called “Existence.” You told me that you had stolen it from rehab because it was so great. The book was all about handling the great existential quandary, or existential depression, in both of our cases. Once we had that book to talk about, we clicked. I will never forget that night we spent wandering around Guilford and misbehaving and talking and talking and talking and just breathing and living. It’s so hard to do the breathing and living thing without you here. I have always felt like I’m just not suited for the human condition. I think you felt like that, too, or else you’d still be here. I wish that circumstances could have been different, that we had all acted differently, and that maybe, somehow, this puzzle could have ended differently. But you’re gone, and I’m here. So I’m going on minute by minute and hour by hour. Hopefully one day I’ll be able to make it through whole days without being so heartbreakingly sad. My current goal for myself is to survive this tragedy, but my future goal for myself is to use what I have learned from books, people, YOU, to help alleviate the suffering in the lives of those that I can. Because of who you are and because you were able to touch and change so many lives in the short time that I knew you, I truly believe that your later years could have resulted in something that could have caused an even greater impact on the world. My only hope for you is that you are out of the labyrinth of suffering. I still have dreams where you’re still alive, so I guess I’ll see you in those. I want you to know that I don’t love you any less for what you did and that I understand. I may not know the exact reasons, but I understand how someone as brilliant and troubled as you are could get to that point. I’m sorry that our world wasn’t ready for you. Xoxo sweet Mickey Leor. One last thing—a funny thing! I’m ending on a positive note. Remember how I had to talk you into telling me your middle name because you thought it was silly? And then we just said your full name over and over again until it didn’t even sound like English, and then we giggled and giggled and tried it in different accents. You may not be on this planet anymore, but you are as alive as ever in the hearts of those who love you.