We can spend every waking moment with a loved one and still not know a single thing about them. The truth of the matter is the face we present to the world may not always be authentic. Laughs are easy to force and smiles don’t need a cause. Each effective to mask the emptiness that is felt inside and Ryan Reid mastered the art of expressing that false happiness.
My little brother, Ryan, took his own life in March 2018, a week after we celebrated his 14th birthday. I was only 18 at the time, living alone in my apartment an hour away from my home when I received a text from him. The time marked 11:04 and next to it was 100 words of how I did him wrong, how I helped him, and how much he loves me. The last word making it 101 words and the last thing he will ever say to me was “goodbye.” A text was sent out that night to everyone who impacted his life. These people included a few of his close friends, his parents, his two brothers, and me.