I have always considered myself lucky that most people close to me are still alive. I still have all 4 grandparents. When I graduated high school in 2003, I had only been to one funeral. I cried and was sad, but the nature of the relationship didn't lead to a lot of pain.
My life was forever changed June 21, 2004. It was about 3 weeks after my first year of college and I was house sitting in Gaithersburg. My cell phone rang and my friend was calling, she was upset. Then she said it. Brad died.
Brad was a year younger than me in school. I worked as a cashier at the local grocery store. Brad got a job there not long after me as a bagger. He was always smiling and never grumbled when asked to help out. I remember one night after we all got off work, we went to play putt putt. My stomach hurt so bad that night for laughing so hard.
I left for college, but I always dropped in when I was home to say hi to everyone. One of the first places I went when I came home for summer was to Giant Eagle. Brad was in the middle of putting away returns. He followed me around the store riding on the cart, and chatting (trying to get me to come back to work I believe.) He was so happy that day. Smiling and laughing it up as we made fun of co-workers.
When I got the call, I didn't believe it. Brad took his life. I just kept saying no, no, that isn't possible. I still to this day wish I knew why it happened. I wish I could have said something or did something to change things. I never saw pain when I looked at Brad, I just wish I could have, so I could have helped.
Brad's death changed me. I never take for granted the fact that my friends know I love them and that I am here for them no matter what.
It has been 6 years, I always remember this day. But I am not sad today. I am celebrating the life of Bradley Quashnie. Today I remember the good times, I sit back and smile at all the silly times we had at a really crappy job. Without Brad and his friends at GE, work would have been 100 times more miserable than it was!
We love you and miss you Brad! You are always remembered! Your family is always in my prayers.
Today I donated to The National Hopeline Network in Brad's name. This organization started programs in suicide prevention. I couldn't give much, but I hope what little I could give helps.