It is always a shock when a child dies. It is especially shocking when a person takes their own life. A good friend from my women’s collective chose to take her own life. She was an adult but that did not soften the blow. I still stare at a photograph of the two of us — big smiles — standing in front of an indoor fountain.
I ask myself “why, why, why?”
But more than that I look for clues. Could any of us have done something? Said something? Why didn’t she reach out to any of us? If not to me, then to others in the collective. Someone outside it? Her family? Even in retrospect no one saw any signs except that after a breakup with a lover she had taken to drinking which was unusual for a very fit girl jock.
And so I stare at the photograph, her infectious smile and dancing eyes, and try to puzzle it out. It has been thirty years and I still grieve.
“Death ends a life, but it does not end a relationship, which struggles on in the survivor’s mind toward some final resolution, some clear meaning, which it perhaps never finds.”
Robert Anderson, I Never Sang for My Father