The past few weeks or so, I’ve been seriously missing a friend. A friend that literally every childhood memory of mine includes. We grew up a block away from each other and were friends from 3 years old and on. We were in Daisies, Brownies (you know…Girl Scouts), we went to the same schools (preschool through half of high school), had birthday parties together and performed in every school production in elementary school. Up until high school, we were together more often than not. Many of the pictures my parents have of me growing up include her. She was the kind of friend every girl deserves to have.
During high school, we got distant, which happens. We ran into each other one day, a couple years after college, and she seemed happy. Back to her old self after struggling for a few years. While we weren’t as close, there’s just a comfort level of having a best friend that knew you that well for that many years. We exchanged phone numbers that day with the promise of getting together for dinner and drinks soon.
Then, one day after work – less than a month after seeing her, I got the phone call that no one wants to get from a mutual friend. She had committed suicide. In the backyard of her childhood home (where we played…where I got my first scar – after we both decided jumping off the roof sounded like fun – where we girl talked…listened to Ace of Base and laughed harder than I’ve ever laughed). I remember that day like it was yesterday. I’ve never heard the whole story or read the note, but I know this once bright, sweet girl was torn so far down by people and situations, that she didn’t feel like her life was worth enough. But it was. She made so many people happy. She was the best hair stylist I had ever met. She was a friend. A daughter. A coworker. And she cared more about people than I think most people even knew.
I always keep a picture of her and I in my purse and carry it with me every single day. And I miss her. Every. Single. Day.
With that said, September was Suicide Prevention Month and I missed posting about it. I feel like a lot of people think that suicide happens generally among teenagers. But she was 24, had a job and was on her way. If you know someone that may be considering suicide, there is help. The Suicide Prevention Education Alliance has resources and trained counselors available to help.
I wish she was here still. There are days where I wish I could call her up. Walk around the corner and climb onto her swing set (where we would stay for hours at a time and have some of our best conversations.
I wish I had been there to talk to her one more time. To sit in the backyard like we had 15-20 years earlier. To cheer her up from whatever had her down. And to laugh the way we used to.
Life in short. Love deeply. Remind your friends that you cherish them. Every. Single. Day.