my name is larry conley and i writing a story that is so close to my heart and at the same time left a hole that cannot be filled....... 16 years ago i met my dear friend Tiffany at a karaoke bar. i had just got done singing and had my back turned to the stage so i could finish my conversation with a friend when out of nowhere i was interrupted by a singing voice so pure and so full of beauty that i had to turn around. it was her. the song was " set fire to the rain" by Adele. i didn't realize it then but she set fire to every concept of love , life , and beauty i thought i knew.over the the next year she gave birth to a beautiful baby boy, and every year after that she left an imprint on my life that will remain forever. life happens and we didn't talk that often but we did keep in touch and would get together when it was possible and catch up....fast forward to November 2023.... November 10th and 11th were the last fun times i had outside my house. on the 10th i had gone out with my best friend to have some drinks and do karaoke and on the 11th i ordered a ufc ppv and watched it with my dad. That sunday night , i had just settled into my room for the night and turned on my playstation to unwind before bed when i got the worst message on facebook possible. my friend Rachel messaged me that tiffany had hung herself in the garage and was dead...forget the game my mind went on pause for a long time trying to process what i had just been told. i got on her profile to see if i could find out more info and with a slight sigh of relief she was still with us but unconscious hooked up to a ventilator...i prayed to god to give me more time with her and to let her hold on until i could get to her...i was filled with so much anxiety that monday at work i couldnt breath, but i had to be with her asap...i took the next day off to go be with her......i went and got her a card, a beautiful candle , and a bear...i wanted her to have something filled with love and encouragement when she woke up.... that morning my chest was heavy and i was feeling so much sadness just being at the entrance to the hospital. i get to the 4th floor and i wanted to fall apart when i saw my beautiful friends name on that room door but i knew i had to be strong not just for myself, but for her family so i closed the lid on my emotions and opened the door....reality reared back and hit me hard when i saw my friend hooked up to so many tubes and machines....but i had to quickly man up because her mom was there. i hugged her and we talked, and through out everything i kept the same attitude of " its not if she wakes up but when she wakes up"....i went and bought a phone charger from the gift shop so i could go back to her as quickly as possible....after visiting hours i went and sat down in the lobby and let the silence wash over me so i could process my feelings and what i experienced...on the way home i decided until she left the hospital, every spare minute i had was for her... no gym , no training , no haircut, even my days off were dedicated to her..nothing else mattered to me but her. the whole time this was going on i formed a close bond with her sister and husband ( they both drove cross country from texas to washington in about 29 hours, and i call them my brother and sister).. talking to her especially helped me a little...over the next few days we shared stories, we laughed, and cried....we never gave up hope on tiffany waking up and coming home. we brushed her hair, did her nails, and really just took care of her..treated her like the queen she deserved to be....i gotta tell ya, the millions of trips to starbucks and sleepless nights were worth it all.... there was a 2nd opinion done as far as brain activity was concerned to see if she had improved but when the doctor came back and said 0 improvement, the reality set in....shes going home but not with us. the beauty of that bad news was that she was an organ donor so her life ending meant someone elses could live on. organ donors get whats called an honor walk. the nursing staff and friends and family line the hallway and a speech is given thanking her for her donation and what it means for someone else...dammit she looked so beautiful that morning.. her bed lined with flowers from friends and family, her hair braided, and just looking like tiffany...i wore my shades that morning because i knew i was going to cry and i did..i cried hard...after they wheeled her past , she was taken into a room where they officially took her off the ventilator and was given 120 minutes to pass on her own... she didnt ( her heart wouldnt quit ) and so she couldnt donate but selfishly i thought ok i get more time with her....her sister suggested i go home and take a night off to get some sleep and for once i listened because she was concerned for me because mentally and physically she knew i was at my breaking point... that thanksgiving i hid very well how down i was and all i could think about was her and how i should be there with her...but sadly the wednesday i went home was the last time i saw her..... all at one time the sadness, the regret , anger,.. every emotion associated with grief and suicide loss hit me hard...i didnt wanna be out in public, i didnt wanna enjoy anything because i had just lost a very important piece to the puzzle that is my heart....but i made a bedside promise to her, my hand holding hers, that i would be strong, that i would be strong for her family, and that i would not give up on anything or anyone in life, and that i would use my love for her to do so much to help those who need to be reminded that they are important, they are loved, and the world needs them.... her vice was alcohol and coupled with depression, it made for a fatal ending...however she was in a toxic relationship with someone who was abusive on all fronts and drank just as much, if not more, than her...my point is this...when youre depressed and are drinking you feel and think certain ways and things about yourself that couldnt be farthest from the truth, and in the same token what you do and say to your partner can everlasting effects and in turn what they feel and say about themselves mixes in with what you say and do to them and they take all that in and sometimes their only escape, in their mind, is suicide...no matter how bad things are i beg you please seek help, seek a shoulder to lean on... do not think your life isnt worth anything..your life is worth more than all the money in the world...your life is a candle in someones darkness... you are loved without end.... Tiffany Crystal Simsek, because of you i am 2 months sober. because of you every song has deeper meaning. and because of you i truly have been reminded about what love is and what it really means to be loved...my mini bar is now my art desk and it will be a testament to the many colors you have painted and drawn into my life. your voice, your smile , and who you are as a woman lives on in my dreams and my heart forever. i loved you 16 years ago and ill love you all the way to heavens gates when ill see you again and we can sing our hearts away...i love you....

ELABORATIONS: while i wasnt an alcoholic, i officially have not had alcohol since nov 10th and made the promise to my friend bedside that i will never touch it again on the 14th...i just couldnt bring myself to touch another drop of a substance that caused my friend so much pain....she didnt have the opportunity to get away from its grip but i decided to not just for myself but for her.....





TOPICS COVERED: General mental health and wellness,Depression,Suicide loss, Substance use and addiction, Loss/grief

 @irishgorilla1986

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