I found out last night from a friend that an old classmate friend from middle school and high school, who was a very close friend to a lot of people that I know well, died on Monday. I found out this morning that she committed suicide. It’s felt dark, confusing, emotional, sad. It was shocking, even to those who knew her well. The family will not be holding a public service. People are refraining from publicly posting on Facebook exactly what the cause of death was.
I’ll admit here that my spiritual beliefs make it very, very difficult for me to accept suicide as anything other than escapist. I feel so much hurt and anger for her family and close friends that I have bitter tears and a lump in my throat. She damaged herself in such a permanent way as to never be able to fix it. And because of my spiritual beliefs I don’t think that whatever problems she felt she was ending are over. I think that they follow you to be coped with and worked through.
That is not to say that I don’t believe she wasn’t in emotional agony, and probably even some mental illness. You can’t be in your right mind to decide to kill yourself. It’s not normal. The normal instinct is to survive and live. So I do have compassion for what she must have been going through. And the pain she was in, the distance she must have been feeling from family and friends and even herself must have been so great… and if she believed in God, her distance from him must have been so great that she felt absolutely hopeless. But suicide.. it’s one of those things that puts you and keeps you at a spiritual distance from God, and I believe from Heaven.
I hope that there’s an afterlife, and I hope that there’s a Heaven so that she has a chance to work out whatever pain she felt when she died. I can’t imagine going through that sort of thing for eternity.
I realize how capricious that sounds, how trite. How nearly judgmental. But I don’t intend it to be. I’m just so sad and I’m trying to keep my brain busy to get some of the thoughts expressed. I’m trying to make some sense of this. I want her to be all right. I don’t want for this, this life to have been all of it. I don’t want her death to be how she’s remembered. She was a bright, happy girl and turned into a bright woman, happy and charming and always smiling. She was funny and social. I know she had some personal problems… but anything, anything at all can be fixed with time and with help. I wish someone had noticed that she needed help. I wish she had said something. All I know now is that she extinguished a light that many, many people are missing already.
It makes me think about my own place, and how many people rely on me. My daughters. My husband. Who else knows what they like? What they need? All of their appointments? Their routines and schedules? Who knows the most minute details about the girls that matter the most if I weren’t here? Who would even know to try to figure out to learn all of those things? Especially my special needs daughter. Who would sit and contribute on her PPT meetings? Who would advocate for her on a daily basis? Who would teach her about her own Autism? Who would be her Mommy and instinctively try different things until finally hitting on the “right” thing? Who will maintain the girls’ relationships with both sides of the family? Remember birthdays? Coordinate parties? Plan their birthdays?
And it makes me think about how many people might be taking me for granted today, and how many more of my friends I might be taking for granted. I’m never doing that again. I’m never, ever taking my friends or family for granted again and I want them to know how much I love them and need them. How special they are, even if they’re someone I just play a game with on Facebook or wave hello to when I’m running to my car. I want people to know that when they wave hello back from their front porch, it matters to me. It makes me feel good. I always wave hello, and if you wave to me I always wave back.