One thing I am so grateful for, though, is that in the year or so that I knew Eddie (I was his pool 1:1 for my first 6 months at my job), I did not waste one moment of our time together. I approached him every day with love and did not spend any time mired in bad feelings or annoyances toward him. Sometimes when someone is lost it is easy to get caught up in feeling guilty about how you spent your time with them, but I have no regrets. Our friendship wasn't perfect, but no matter what I always felt good towards him, and that makes the grieving process easier.
My subconscious/the universe/Eddie did give me a little wink and a nod today, though. During work today, J. asked me if I would read to him from a book. We'd just finished Alice in Wonderland, and I hadn't picked out a new book yet, so I went into his room to find something that looked good. I chose a book I'd heard was good, and was in the middle of the first chapter before I realized the subconscious reference. The book that I'd picked, without thinking about it? The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane. :-)
So goodbye, Eddie. It has been an honor to be your friend and to be a part of your life. Loss is hard to deal with, and it may take me a little while to feel 100% okay, but I know that you are no longer in pain and experiencing all the things that held you back when you were alive. Here's to you, sir.