09 July 2008
I found out on Monday that one of Tannah's co-worker's had committed suicide. I'm not listing her name because the company is rather small yet and I want to respect her privacy, and that of her family. I didn't know her that well, but she was always kind and cheerful to me. I remember in August 2005, after I got released from the hospital from giving birth to Gabriel, I didn't want to sit at home. Too much time to think and that was the last thing I wanted to do. I'd done all my required homework for the first day of school while inpatient and we'd already seen the funeral director for Gabriel's service, and it just so happened that the day after I was released, Tannah's company was having a get-together at the owner's home. I decided to go, just so I could feel normal.
It was awkward. Everyone at the company knew we'd lost the baby, and no one knew how to treat either one of us, especially me. I was still excruciatingly sore, and no matter how much I tried to smile, it still didn't really come out right. Small talk seemed forced to me. People would greet me and say "Hi, how are you?", trying to be polite...then they would remember, apologise, and linger for a moment in silence before turning to someone else. All except her.
There was no awkwardness, no gooey fake compassion or unbalanced hugs. She sat down and started talking to me about Queen, as Tannah and I had seen "We Will Rock You", a Queen musical, at the Paris about a week prior. Something so mundane really brought my spirits up. For about an hour I was able to talk about something 100% unrelated to me, as a person, and my life. When I tried to get up and get a drink, she didn't coddle me and ask if I was okay or if I wanted her to get it. She gave me a sassy look and said, "Sit down girl, I got it." A tone of voice that was firm but still positive, and didn't alert anyone close that I was needing assistance, whether I wanted it or not.
All in all, she made me feel like a human again, that day. And now she's gone, having shot herself on 05 July 2008. Her roommate found her. No one sensed anything amiss, no changes (good or bad) in personality. I wish I knew why. Having been actively suicidal for more than half my life (and having tried it 7 or 8 times...hooray for blood that's too thick), I can understand the immense feeling of desperation and hopelessness. I know it's not the same for everyone but I've been there in my own way. Cesare Pavese once said, "No one ever lacks a good reason for suicide", and I believe that. Everyone's reason is valid in it's own way, as twisted as it may be. I guess maybe I wish I understood, maybe I wish I could have shown her a way out of whatever was driving her to need to kill herself.