Hari Vasu's high school graduation

Hari Vasu (second from right) at his high school graduation in 2007 (photo courtesy Caitlin Ryan).

Hari Vasu was one of my best friends, and someone I had known since the first grade. He was incredibly smart and gifted, and it was clear that he had a bright future. The expectations for Hari were that he would become a doctor, and he threw himself at it fully, delighting in learning new things and helping others.

But in his final year of medical school, everything started to go awry. Hari went through rapid cycles of mania and depression. It was hard for those of us around him to watch, and even harder to connect with him. And then it all came crashing down.

The bad news about Hari's suicide.

The text message (photo courtesy Brad Zehr).

I assumed we would always be friends, and never prepared myself for the possibility that Hari’s suicide would intervene. I think about him often now, when I hear a song he liked, or when I read a book I wish I could talk to him about. It’s easier now—I usually remember the best moments, full of laughter. I miss them.

Happier times.

Hari (center) on Lake Michigan in 2007 (photo courtesy Caitlin Ryan).