1.64 – R.I.P Don Gato

“There are people that have known me for a long time that don’t know me the way you do. That will never change.”

One year ago my best friend lost his battle with Devic’s Syndrome, a severe and fatal form of Multiple Sclerosis. It’s been 365 days and the loss still isn’t easy.

I wanted to write something profound. Something that would encompass what it means to lose your very best friend, a kindred spirit, your soul in another body. There are no smooth words.

I’m angry. I hate life right now. Because it isn’t fair. Such a good person…a good human being…someone who was flawed, someone who was a beautiful chaos…and he was stolen from this earth. I’m angry because it doesn’t make sense to me. He was a father, a husband, a brother, a fairy god-mother. He was laughter and smiles, snorts and giggles. He was a survivor, a soldier, a speaker of truth. He spoke through music, through art, through poetry.

He fought that disease, as it took his life so quickly, but he fought. He loved with his whole heart. He was forgiving. He was the best damned listener I have ever known. And I feel robbed.

I knew this holiday was going to be tough for me. Losing my best friend and my father just 7 months apart…it’s scary. And I think of these two men who changed my life, the very essence of my being and I cry for myself. Because I needed them here. But I am selfish. I should be happy for them. My friend and my father were both in pain. And they aren’t anymore. They are somewhere, free of the burdens of this life. They watch over me. They send down their love in teardrops, which hit my cheeks as purifying rain. They smile down on me and a star twinkles in the sky. They speak to me through music, through every moment of inspiration that finds its way into my life.

Nico taught me to be myself. To not be scared of my thoughts. To forgive. To love with my whole heart. To be passionate about the little things. To embrace my dorky sense of humor. To express myself even when I doubted if people would agree. To fight for the person who doesn’t have a voice. To never judge someone by their past. To never give up hope. To read all of the chapters of a book before judging the cover. To read between the lines. To embrace my feelings.

I wanted to write something that changed how I felt right now. But the pain is still there. Its raw. Its real. I want to break shit right now and I want to wipe away the tears. I want to scream and ask some god, any god…why him? Didnt he deserve a chance? I will never understand. And I guess…I dont have to.

My best friend, Nico, died on December 9, 2010 at 2pm in Messina, Italy. I am grateful that he was able to go home for his last days. I am grateful that I met this man. I am grateful that I was blessed to know someone so strong, so real, so good. I am grateful for four years of true friendship.

I will live this life for the both of us. And I’ll see you when I get there. Until then, may you laugh with my father.

(He sang this damned song all the time. I’m sure he’ll smile down at this).

“How do you know that you wont forget?

Because I’ll never forget.”


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