Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Only a few more days.

Regardless of the weather, once the first week of February has passed I can sense spring hiding somewhere preparing her entrance. After that first week, there’s just more light. I feel relieved. Only a few more days.

The darkest part of my life was the suicide of a dear friend in early February over two decades ago. I have been thinking about her a lot lately. She was 21. 

After so many years now, sometimes February passes without much deep contemplation. This year is different though. Lately, I have been catching glimpses of her in a good book, in the particular walk of a stranger, in a Rick Springfield song and even in a jar of raspberry jam. I am remembering things about her I forgot for a while: the musicians she loved, her budgie, her pretty hands, the little scars on her arms where the childhood-her scratched the mosquito bites her mother warned her not to scratch. 

She was the sister I never had. She saw right through me. She taught me to be myself. I regret I didn’t learn the lesson until it was too late though. So many regrets.

I just wish I could see her again. She didn’t get all the wonderful things I did from life; she just didn’t get enough time. I want her to have what I have, all the things I have been blessed with. I wish my wife had known her; they would be great friends. And with these words right now in some small way, I’m trying to make you know her too. 

But you didn't. Yet I suspect you’ve known someone whose life ended too soon. Who lives in your memory? And just what is the lesson in any life cut short? 

I wonder that too.

Writing about her feels right though. It’s a part of myself I haven’t opened for a long time. I guess she’s still opening me up.

“There are places in the heart that do not yet exist; suffering has to enter in for them to come to be.” -Leon Bloy 

24 comments:

Vinny C said...

My brother-in-law has been on my mind recently. He was killed by, up to now, unknown assailants almost three years ago. My wife took it hard. Really hard. He was young & made many wrong choices. She'd always hoped he'd get his life together before it was too late.

Kev D. said...

I had a friend who was killed by a jealous ex-boyfriend.

She was an awesome person, and she will always be remembered.

I don't think there was a lesson. Evil is evil.

But these dear souls live on in the hearts of the people that they left behind.

Underground Dude said...

Thanks for sharing, I suspect there are many of us who have someone in our lives we think fondly upon as well. And for those that are still struggling with absence, this post helps to know that with time, looking back and remembering does get better.

jono said...

I'm at work at the moment (I work in IT so its OK) and so I don't really want to open up about several people that were once very close to me but now no longer with us.

But having said that, your post made me stop and think. Not only about them but also the very good friends and loved ones that are still with us. I need to do that once in a while.

Thanks dbs, a great post. Oh and your friend sounds just like one I have. I'll be sure to give her a hug when I see her and tell her why.

Debra She Who Seeks said...

So much lost potential in those who die young. It's hard not to wonder what their lives might have been like if they'd had more time.

Al Penwasser said...

I was all set to "crack wise", but then kept reading. Stay strong.
A good friend of my daughter killed himself last week (he was only 16). Along with my thoughts about wasted potential, my heart goes out to his memory and his family. What kind of demons could possibly have haunted this talented young man?
Great post!

Nicole said...

Beautifully said. Long live the opening of your heart, it's the best way to keep such a loved, lost friend among the living.

Laoch of Chicago said...

This is poignant, evocative and finely rendered. Well done.

jono said...

As is tattooed on my chest in memory four little angels...

Is túisce a éagann an óige mar aon leis an mhaith.

Those with youth and beauty die all too soon.

Didactic Pirate said...

I really liked this post. Certain times of the year conjure similar memories of loss for me too. It's nice to read this and see that at some point, painful memories shift into something a little bit kinder.

Alittlesprite said...

Beautiful post. Those we have lost too soon stay in our memories and our hearts. I have not known anyone who died suddenly, so I dont quite know the feeling. I can only relate it to my Grandma dying just before my wedding. I regret that she could not be there, that I didnt see her just one last time before she passed, and that I could not make it to her funeral. But I have little reminders of her in my house now, and I remember her fondly.

dbs said...

Thanks for the comments peeps. I think we should note what Jono said and go hug someone we love.

Antares Cryptos said...

dbs, so sorry. Deathversaries. Sad wordfuse. :( The lack of closure, the life not lived, but remembered.

She lives on in your writing.

Cheeseboy said...

Yes, cool to read a different side of you. This was quite touching. Sorry for your loss. Blogging can be so very cleansing though.

Hey, if you haven't seen it yet, I finally did the Barney orders Chinese food thing. It's posted now.

Chelle said...

My lovely Shannon.

mandersblue said...

like everyone else before me has said, this really was a beautiful post. you have given us a lovely glimpse of your lost friend, reminded us of the precariousness of life and to cherish those who touch us

dbs said...

Thanks again peeps. And to Chelle, I know you know just what this feels like.

Elly Lou said...

Boy did you just sneak up on me and knock my ice cream out of my hand. But with such a beautiful stick. Especially the Rick Springfield thing. Seriously. I'll be thinking of her all day.

wendy said...

thanks for sharing HER with us. It is so terribly sad.
It is amazing how, as we go through life, the simplest things "spark" a memory. sometimes it makes us smile as a little tear seems to surface in the corner of our eyes.
good tears of remembrance
sometimes tears of regret I guess.

she'd be happy I believe that you thought so well of her, and still remember
that quote at the end is really good.

paulsifer42 said...

Thanks for sharing guy. Suicide is so rough. I remember getting the call about my 19 year old buddy who had had enough. I wanted so much to have gotten to him before hand. I wanted so much for him to have the perspective I have. I'm sorry she's gone, but I'm happy you knew her.

Marylinn Kelly said...

A different view of February, evoking specific memories and loss, identifiable and tender, sad but not unbearably grim. To think of absent friends in this way invites them to return, sit and perhaps share in what we know they would enjoy. When we are still able to hold a part of them, it is hard sometimes to believe they are really gone.

Just SO said...

We are fast approaching the first anniversary of the death of my oldest sister. While hers wasn't a suicide it was still very unexpected and difficult to deal with. I have memories. I wish I could have had time to make more but I don't. So I keep my memories close.

dbs said...

@Elly Thank you for sharing that and for thinking of her.
@wendy Thank you for commenting. Your empathy is appreciated. I hope you know that I support you too.
@paul Thank you for sharing that. It's shocking how many people have had similar experiences.
@Marilyn Your words are very tender too. Thank you for sharing them.
@JustSo Good advice. I do too.

Michael said...

Buddhism has a nice ceremony called the Hungry Ghost Ceremony. They offer food and drink to attract wandering ghosts with hopes that they will find some peace and cross over to a happier realm.

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