So I’m about shin-deep in the student teaching process and there’s one thing that’s causing me more trouble than nearly anything else.

I can’t shake the feeling that I may have killed my best friend.

*Disclaimer:  I don’t much care for the term “best friend”, since it places people in some sort of friendship hierarchy.  But it’s a simple way to say “friend with whom I had the majority of my social interactions”, so bear with me.

Realistically I know that Tim’s poor health was in no small part a result of Tim’s poor health choices.  I know that the fickle hand of fate had a role to play.  I know that there were many, many other people in Tim’s life who had a great deal of influence on him.

And I know that I did not do enough to save his life.

I know that I failed him as utterly as I have failed most of the people in my life.  I didn’t push hard enough, didn’t put in the time I should have, that I let myself get worn down by stubbornness and allowed complacency to set in, let myself become accustomed to the idea that because he wasn’t dying right now, he wasn’t going to die soon, let his refusal to accept my help lead me to stop insisting that he take it.

I also know that nothing I’ve said is really true, that there was no way for me to force anything on him, but I am burdened with irrational guilt.

And I know that that is but a fraction of what weighs on me now.