Maybe you felt guilt or regret or rage or just a heavy, heavy sadness.
For some people a light bulb goes off.
You can call it a wake-up call, a sign from God, a slap in the face. But sometimes it takes the death of a friend to get you moving in a different direction.
It seems to happen most when the friend is your age or younger. You see the lost potential of their life, and it makes you look at yours: potential and life.
You may have been vaguely restless before all this happened. You may have been quite content with your life.
But the death of someone your own age is often a dramatic reminder that your time here on earth is limited. No one knows how long they have.
You become irritable. Things that are important to others – and once important to you – seem trivial and useless and stupid beyond words.
More than once you’ve tried to explain to them how you feel – how unsettled, how sad, how empty – but they don’t understand.
They may tell you that you need to move on, get over it. But that just makes you madder than you were before.
You’ve been through something profound, but the people around you don’t get it.
You’re a different person, though you look and sound the same. You are different inside, changed forever for having lost your friend.
You see things differently now.
You feel like you need to make a change, a big change, perhaps.
Where do you begin?