She’s forever gone.

It’s strange how you can be reminded of how alive you really are, I thought as I sat on the toilet emptying my body and holding a tampon in my hand. Absolutely nothing stops for death.

I learned yesterday afternoon while navigating rush hour traffic — racing the dickhead clock to pick up Peyton before school closed at 6 — that a friend of mine killed herself the night before.

I’d known someone had died by the voice of my best friend on my voicemail and I’d had to sit through 3 agonizing hours before I had the space to call him back and then it was only as good as my moving car. “So, I got a call from someone I hadn’t talked to in a long time,” he said. I paused, waiting. “Sara killed herself last night.”

I blanched and tears sprung to my eyes which were riveted on the bumper of the car in front of me. This couldn’t be…

I sat transfixed, trapped in my car listening to the details, the how and the when. Dark and sorrowful details of her excruciating ending. Tears streamed down my face as I thought of her last moments, the days leading up to her decision to do this, her best friend and her boyfriend who were instrumental in getting her to agree to inpatient rehab.

Sara was my friend’s ex-girlfriend. A woman whom he’d dated twice, loved always, and she fought against life like a lioness. She suffered through traumas with willful force, falling hard first, but then always righting herself. Sunday night, her pain was so great it blacked out everything. Even the thought of her daughter’s life without her.

I picked up Peyton and through my tears had to explain why mommy was crying. I didn’t — couldn’t and wouldn’t — say how or why. We talked about mommies and death spirits. Then:

“Mommy, I want us to die at the exact same time.”

I pulled into my Parkin spot and cried some more. Took my baby’s hand and climbed the stairs home, thought about what to feed my child.

Eventually, I sat bound to the commode doing any number of very alive things while Sara was in the morgue, forever not being alive.

Peyton was fed and had been given the ok for watching TV. My baby hadn’t just lost a mother; my baby wanted to veg out.

So, I’d said ok.

With more space now, I cleaned up the dinner dishes and crawled into The Neighbor’s shirt he’d left the night before and tucked myself into bed and cried some more.

I cried because when I imagine the pain Sara must have been suffering to be able to take her own life it feels blacker than death, more sinister than evil. She loved her little girl with the force of the sun; fought for her, nurtured her, bore her into this world with inhuman strength under the watchful eyes of birth’s pain and chaos and fear. And yet her own gaping wound wiped it all out somehow. She was to enter rehab yesterday morning when her boyfriend found her, in a space she held dear surrounded by objects of love, alone. And I will miss her.

She was here in my house two months ago. Her baby and mine were caught giving kitten Faisal a bath. We all laughed as we scolded the children and they looked at us with big round eyes and pudgy cheeks, all innocence to the core. She and I had spent a lot of time together when our children were younger, our marriages intact, yet shaky. The night they left my home she and I made plans to get together again, hugged each other tightly and just assumed that day would come.

She was sober then, looked better than she had in a year. But apparently, it was just the calm before the end.

I dreamt of a tornado last night, in a dark, storm-ridden land. The funnel cloud was only barely visible in the distance against the charcoal grey night sky. TN was driving us to dinner, but when he saw the monster before us, he knew just what to do. He veered off the road and out across a wide prairie (because this was the safest place to go in my dream). He gave me blankets and helped me help others to safety.

Last night when I felt a hiccup in my sorrow I texted him asking him if he were around. He didn’t answer, he just came over. I could hear him and Peyton’s banter by the front door then he filled my doorway. “Hey,” he said and sauntered over to me. “How’s it going?”

I burst into tears as I told him about Sara. He rushed to me and held me tight while I sobbed, then came around and lay with me. He held me some more as we talked and I processed. He jumped when he remembered he had water boiling. “I’ll be back in 3 minutes.”

It was when he was gone that I realized what a salve he was to me, what a gift and opportunity. When he was back under me, my warm, furry pillow, I asked him if he would come back later that night after Peyton was asleep and remind me of just how alive I was, help me forget. He said he would.

Time passed and I kissed and read Peyton to sleep and let TN know when to come over, but warned him I was tender and needed tenderness in return. I felt shaky and uncertain if I was fit for company. He said he would do what he could.

And he did.

He kissed me like a man in love, sweet and soft. He told me I was filled with good things, a good person. He nuzzled me and squeezed my breasts and my heart was full and still and loving him so hard I thought it would burst because I had this life, this love, this baby across the hall, a world filled with people I knew loved me and a heart that sings with the sun and the moon and the stars and my heart cried too for my friend who felt nothing but blackness when there could be so much light, proof of an end happier than her own and then he parted my knees and sunk into my bloody body and he moved even more slowly while I begged and wept for the world knowing Sara would never feel the touch of her lover again, her daughter’s angel kiss, and I moved against him, surrendering myself to the moment of life and love and bliss and the one thing I can always rely on to remind me that I am alive.

And this morning, my heart is still with ache and love and sorrow. I don’t know what to think or how to feel. Do I go into work? What do I say? She was a friend I loved and had known for nearly 20 years, but we were orbital friends, not daily. Am I allowed to feel this way? So distraught and wrung out? I suppose I am because I am. I can’t help it. She was dear to me, an inspiration of determination and verve and now she is no longer, snuffed out like a candle. And by her own hand. It’s just so incomprehensible…

I hope she knows now how much we all truly loved her and that she has obtained the peace she was so terribly desperate for. She was so much more than this awful choice. She was a lioness. But apparently she was a sad and wounded lioness who took the darker fork in the road. It’s a reminder to always seek the light at the impasse. It’s there, somewhere. Always. And I will. I have no choice. I am lucky to not have that demon inside of me, I know. So very lucky.

I love you, S. May peace be with you, always.

 

38 thoughts on “She’s forever gone.

  1. I am sorry for your loss and you are allowed to feel this way; it is indication of so many things. Love for your friend and friendship, and the epiphany that you are still living and stronger than you thought you were. I hope you feel better from this soon, and that she may rest in peace. xxx

  2. I am so sorry for the loss of your friend. Suicide is such a horrible way to lose a loved one because we never know the “why”. Hugs.

  3. Very moving Hy. Right now I understand all too well some of your inner turmoil. For the past several months I have had several dear to me leave the planet physically and mentally. It leaves an emptiness I have trouble overcoming.
    Mike

  4. Oh, Hy. I’m so sorry for it all. Feel what you feel, it’s the only way through. We can’t skip over or around things of this intensity. I’m so glad TN understood and gave you what you needed.

  5. I sit here with tears in my eyes. So much has happened in my family in the last few weeks. Culminating in a wreck that my husband and I walked away from that we shouldn’t have. My heart goes to you and to her family who are left to pick up pieces and scramble with thoughts of what did we miss. But mainly to her precious baby who will need all the love and support to understand her mom’s choice had nothing to do with her or her lack of love for her.

  6. Sorry to hear about your loss. I also lost a friend to suicide and the guilt of not doing more for him was terrible. But it sounds like you’ve already come to the conclusion that there are incomprehensible things at play here and there’s only so much you could’ve done. It doesn’t make your grief any easier now, but it will help…

    • Thanks, honey. My guilt comes and goes. My head knows I had nothing to do with it. My heart maintains the hope that maybe I did. Hugs to you for your loss, too.

  7. It is terrible when people decide to end it; far more so when there is a small child involved.
    You should be sad and upset for your friend but, as foodandwinehedonist says, you must not feel guilt for not helping more. If you had known what was going on there is no way you would have turned away. You would have been there breaking the door down and lifting her up. But you did not, could not, know.
    Thank you for telling us this awful tale. It does bring to sharp focus how well off most of us really are, despite the problems we all have.

  8. Oh sweet Hy, I’m so sorry. You should process this in your way, and if it means taking the day off you shouldn’t feel a bit bad about it. It is such a jarring reality when it hits so close to home. Somebody that could be you, me, someone else we know. She hit a dead end and didn’t have the strength to backtrack to the other fork. Sending my love your way,
    G

  9. There are no words to ease your loss – although all that you said is just right to be able to deal with your friend’s pain and her baby and family. I send you all my hugs Hy. XO, Jayne

  10. That’s heartbreaking, Hy. Sorry to hear that. I recently lost a very close friend (to cancer, not suicide), but I’m still very vividly aware of that pain…

  11. Hyacinth… I’m so very sorry to hear this. So sorry. I wish that I could comfort you, but I am glad TN and your little darling are there, were there to do it. The only thing I can tell you is that I know the pain you’re feeling in the aftermath of such a thing. I know it well and I know it very recently, 52 days recent, actually…

    Please try not to think too much about what she was going through or what you could have done. It does nothing but eat you up inside.

    All my love. Xoxo

  12. Oh Hy, I’m so sorry to hear your sad news….as you say, & I heed your words, there is always the light, always look for it no matter how the dark falls….

  13. :hugs:
    When my friend took her own life, it made me question everything. It made me immobile and so grief-stricken, I couldn’t fathom tears, eating, or sleeping. Now, I remind myself to think of the fond memories and good times shared with her.

    I’m sure there is always a reason people come in and out of our lives, your friend Sara obviously meant a lot to you, and even though she’s gone, you have the gift of the memory of her friendship that can never be taken away.

    I’m glad you have Peyton and TN to keep you busy/company at this time.

    • It’s such a strange thing. As I mentioned before we were orbital friends, not daily, but I’ve found myself thinking of her more than ever before. It’s making me re-evaluate all of my relationships. Does everyone know how I feel about them?? Especially the orbital, once-a-year-chat friends? Because I do care. Deeply. We share something special or we wouldn’t be able to pick up like no time had ever passed, right? I dunno… these things always make us take a closer look.

      I’m sorry to hear of your friend’s passing. Hugs to you.

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  15. Oh I’m so sorry, Hy. I do understand reaching for love and life even harder when you’re reminded how fragile it is. xxoo

  16. I’m sorry for your loss, dear Hy. It is in moments like this though when we become acutely aware of what is precious in our lives. And of course you’re allowed to feel this way. You have a big heart. xo

  17. Dearest Hy,
    I know this reply comes belated. I’m so Very Sorry to hear of your Loss. Sending you Love & Light to assist you in this Most Difficult time.
    Your Friend,
    Anastasia (Hugs)

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