I thought of you often. Just the other day a memory of one of the stories you told popped in my head on the way home from work. I always thought that someday I would look you up but I thought you would think it was weird if the 16 year old punk you worked with, now grown up, tracked you down. I really enjoyed working with you. We bonded due to the lack of customers leaving us with hours to talk and I have always remembered each of your stories. You taught me about fear and loneliness and about hope and exhaustion. You showed me vulnerability and the infinite sadness that a human soul can carry, yet you were never truly down.
Our other co-worker found me and told me that you kept the pictures from so long ago; of my last day of work there, all of us smiling. It breaks my heart that I didn't keep in touch, even if I was worried you would think I was odd. Once upon a time I even had the thought that someday I would come back and find you, if you weren't doing well, and help you in any way I could. I thought there was time. I was certain our paths would meet again someday. They won't, not on earth, and I am sorry.
I always wished the best for you.
I am sorry you are gone.
I am sorry that life never treated you better.
I am sorry I missed your memorial.
I am sorry you went the way you did.
I am sorry that I will never get to see you again.
I am sorry.
I should have stayed in touch.
Goodbye. You were loved.