I was just writing this when I got that message and I think it’s really important that I continue to write this. Who knows what will happen tomorrow. There are no reasons to sit on these words. Words only matter when they’re out for the world to see, not held as a secret within one’s head.
The letter is as follows…
The last song I heard wasÂ ‘Home.’
I was five foot and nine inches tall.
I had blue eyes, and light brown hair.
I wasn’t very good looking, but I liked to pretend.
My nose sat slightly crooked, and my right cheekbone made of plastic.
I was absolutely crazy about Dave Grohl and the Foo Fighters.
I liked drawing, but never considered myself any good.
I adored music, but could never strum a guitar.
I wrote words, but to me, they were only gibberish.
I wanted to be a muscular sex icon, but ended up a skinny boy with imperfect skin.
I lied a lot more than I would have liked; it wasn’t until recently that I prided myself in honesty.
I had a habit of falling madly in love with the idea of a girl before she even opened her mouth.
I loved. I lost. I lived.
I am gone now.
Writing about yourself in the past tense is a little strange.
This wasn’t anyone’s fault. What happened isn’t to do with any one event or any particular day or moment, but was a heavily calculated decision that I’d been putting together in my head for seemingly years. This has nothing to do with God or the devil. This is not fate, nor anyone’s burden to bear. This is one young man’s decision, one young man’s choice.
My own worst enemy has always been myself, since I was capable of thought. I undermined my hopes and dreams and sabotaged my own success throughout these short twenty four years.
I used to be known for my “stone-cold demeanor”, but ended as a hopelessly romantic blubbering buffoon; unable to keep my thoughts inside. Hell, look at me right now- putting this out for the public to see.
There was never any logical or rational reasoning behind my depression. This is what I struggled with most. Why was I so damn sorrowful when I can look in any direction and have overwhelming waves of support and love. My family couldn’t have been any better or loved any more. They supported me in everything I did and I will always cherish them.
There are hundreds of people that influenced my life and I’d like to reach out to a few of them in particular.
My best friend throughout adolescence was Jordan. He was there for my first skinned knees and grass stained pants. I remember catching crawdads together and hitting rocks with plastic bats in his backyard. We fell apart in middle school, and even more in high school. He still had a special place in my history and I valued his friendship greatly. I still remember that time you “accidently” threw a heavy metal truck at my head.
The most embarrassing moment of my life was peeing my pants in the third grade. Jake and Donna will remember this. Don’t make me laugh so hard.
Donna, Carlie, and Doug were my second family. I’m so happy I had them in my life, because they made me who I was and taught me a lot of the basics of growing up. I miss Patches and Tweety. I was recently able to witness Carlie’s marriage. I was truly happy for her and know they have a great future together. Donna put up with a lot of young me. Growing up, in that house, I will always hold those memories fondly.
My first fight was against a boy named Mike. I ran like a coward. He cleaned my clock.
The first other person I would consider my brother was Jake. Jake was there when I first started battling this demon. We fought digital wars together at night. During the following days we spoke with fervor of our triumphs and defeats as makebelieve Navy Seals. I let the relationship with Jake dwindle out, even though he recently had reached out and tried to be part of my life. I always felt like I was cramping his style and he was much better with the ladies. I didn’t want to be “Jake’s small friend” anymore. I hope your family the best Jake and wish I could have met your wife in person; she seems like an amazing lady. I love you man.
The fairer sex that, as of writing this, I still struggled with talking to. Every girl on the planet was a thousand times out of my league. I had a nasty habit of “showing all my cards” at once and scaring them away. I always figured I’d just die alone; this was easier to swallow than letting someone else down for the rest of my life. I could never even draw or paint women. I always felt that I couldn’t do the feminine mystique any sort of justice. If there is one perfect work of art ever created on this planet, it was woman, unable to be replicated.
My first crush, which still kind of persists today, was for a girl name Samantha. Then there was a girl named Kristin; who is brilliant- whoever ends up with her is lucky beyond measure. My first kiss was outside of Dakota Middle School with Miranda. I never confronted them about these crushes. I never possessed any kind of courage. I had my sights on destinations unreachable to me and knew it.
It wasn’t until 21 until I considered myself in true love. I had never had the thud of something supernatural in my chest just at seeing a woman; before words were even spoken. This was enough of an otherworldly nudge to actually get me to ask her out on a date. Me, Brett Hamre, asked a girl on a date. Which she turned down, but I persisted. Man, was I persistent. I still love her, madly actually.
If you’re reading this. You are one of the most stubborn, hard-headed, headstrong, beautiful, intelligent, extroverted, beautiful, brilliant, beautiful women to have ever graced my path. The three years I knew you were the best years of my life. You gave me something to live for other than myself. You actually opened me up for the first time of any of my friends. I learned to love and to acknowledge that I had real emotions before. You opened up the proverbial can of worms and changed who I was, for the better. Thank you for being my best friend for those days. I love you, and always will.
Cory and I shared thousands of hours together. He saved my life, on more than one occasion. Some of my fondest memories are not even on this physical Earth, but those manufactured in digital fantasy lands with him at my side. Slaying imaginary dragons and demons, nothing but pixels. I would call Cory my brother and I know he would do anything for me. He got me my first job and we used to spend hours sitting in that taco joint parking lot after closing time. Doing nothing but listening to music and talking about life. I love you man, thank you.
Patrick and I had our fights. We had greatly differing opinions on various different occasions and topics, but he was the first guy that I was actually capable of sharing deep emotions with. Patrick caused me to be level-headed and apologetic when I was not. He was there to talk about love. He was there to talk about sadness and self-worth. The first time I ever openly told another non-blood related male I loved them, without being affected by a near-death experience or heavy medication, was with Patrick. I think it might have been in a fast food joint too, I can’t recall. I love you man, and hope the best for your future and family. Send Amanda my love too, and make her get that book published.
Bob, physician-patient privilege, but thank you for the numerous times you’ve pried this beast off my back. I wouldn’t have made it this far without you, payed by the hour or not. Thank you.
Thank to the various teachers that put up with me in their classes throughout the years and opened my mind to new knowledge and ideas. You have the most noble profession on the planet and you are the saints that walk amongst us.
Tyler was my “100%”
No one has ever seen so much of the darkness in me than Tyler has. Tyler saved my life too. He single-handedly fended off depression that night and words cannot express how much that means to me. The first time I was ever drunk was at Tyler’s house, Bud Light with Lime, which is gross, was the poison of choice. I may not remember much of that night, but I know we had a good time. Tyler most charisma than any man I know and I considered him a role model. I thought he was the smoothest-talking guy to walk on this planet and in many ways he most definitely is. He showed me a lot about the way the world works and I would kill for that man. He’s stood by me in thick and thin and I only wish I was a better friend to him. Love you hombre. Don’t worry about the last thing you said to me; I only remember the positive words.
John was the best boss I’ve ever had, but he was much more than that. He taught me about my faith and was there for me whenever I needed him to be. It’s probably weird to say, but he was like a second father to me. I learned about hard work and what it means to be a goal-oriented man of faith from him. I only wish I was a better employee and that I could have had him in my family in the future. If people still wrote of normal men becoming saints in this day and age, there would be volumes about John. There are no words existing in the language of man to adequately convey how thankful I am for his friendship.
My mother and father are the most loving people I could ever possibly hope to know. I love my sister and wish that I hadn’t gotten away from our relationship in those high school years. She is a talented, brilliant, beautiful young woman and I know she’s going to take the world by surprise. My mother is the closest person I can relate to Maria Teresa on this great blue planet. She would do anything for anybody and I love you drastically Mom. You were always there for me, in every way I knew I needed and even those I didn’t know that I did at the time. My father and I didn’t talk much. We didn’t say theÂ L-wordÂ much, if ever. I love you, you beautiful bald man. You are my hero and I hope that if I live to make it to your age that I’m half the man you are. I know we don’t say things much, but you mean more than anything in the world to me and I wouldn’t change our father-son relationship for any other.
Tonya, Uncle Dale, Kyle, Hilary, Adam, Tony, Jason, Timmy, Eric, Chris, Sam, Jason, Phil, Darek, Brandon Terry, Jeramie, Ryan, Rachel, Julie, Luke, Leia, Gemini, Jinx, there are dozens of you; If I ever write a book, I will most assuredly include.
I’m being vulnerable because I believe now that showing vulnerability is true strength. Too many of us are ashamed of who we are, myself included, to tell the truth and be completely open. I am no longer willing to be judged by what people perceive me as or as the persona I have built up around me as a shield. I was not a perfect happy-go-lucky charismatic guy. I was broken and lacked patience. I wasn’t smart and I definitely wasn’t a saint. I was never a ladies’ man and never will be.
I continue to write this letter, even knowing that I’m not going through with anything drastic… because, well, because people should know who I am and love or hate me accordingly. I will never play the “game” of relationships again, life is too short. Look at me, willing to cut it down at twenty-four and some change. I’m not going to impress people anymore. There is no more pretending I’m okay when I’m really, absolutely, not.
I don’t know what I future holds for me. I don’t know if I’m destined to be a hermit in some forest somewhere, or eventually find another soul mate and live happily ever after. I have no absolutely no idea what I’m supposed to do with my life or even, at this stage in the drama, what I want to do when I “grow-up”. I know a few things. I will continue to write. I will learn the guitar. I will never send another girl flowers while heavily inebriated.
To love greatly, you have to open yourself to pain and ridicule. To enjoy life deeply you have to take the hopeless parts of the story too, if only to appreciate the ooey-gooey heartfelt parts.
I think that in the future, I will look back at this and remember the place I was in. I don’t know if I’ll be in a better or worse place, but it’s good to remember the path we traveled. Maybe this way some other lost soul will have that elusive glimmer of hope.
My nameÂ wasÂ isÂ Brett Steven Hamre. I’m going to live for a bit longer I think.