This Is What It Looks Like: A Reflection

How do you begin to write about someone that you never said more than 100 words to? And how is it that you can still be so troubled by that?

This past weekend, I got news that an acquaintance of mine from my hometown was on life support and there wasn’t much that could be done to change that. And it felt almost like watching a TV show that you get too into. You have to shake it off when you remember that you aren’t a TV character. I watched on as my friends and people from my hometown shared well wishes and prayers. Talked to her best friends. Checked her Facebook a couple of times an hour for updates. It was nothing short of consuming. She passed away today, October 30th, just after 7pm. And then the TV show wasn’t a show anymore, it was real and it was life. I felt that kind of uncomfortable that makes you want to crawl out of your body and hide.

I’ve been torn all weekend because I feel like an impostor. I’ve always said that my worst nightmare is having people who didn’t give a shit about me/weren’t really my friends at my funeral, or saying nice things about me after I died as if we were somehow old chums. And then I reflect on myself and feel like I’m being that for her. I had no more than 3 conversations with this person in my entire life. We weren’t even really connected on social media until about 3 months ago.

The interesting thing about that is the reason we connected on Facebook was that she was interested in writing a guest post for this blog. For anyone reading this who isn’t familiar with this blog but was loved by Kassidi: This is What It Looks Like is a community of people who write about their experiences as someone who is mentally ill/someone who has gone through traumas of some sort. She would have included a photo that was either of her, or meant something to her, and would tell her story of struggle and survival. This was either shortly before or after she was in the hospital the first time. The blog was never written. I think just because of life taking up time. But I can’t stop wondering what would’ve been said. If that piece would’ve been a helpful insight into why Kassidi needed to find peace.

From talking with her friend, as well as hearing her story, I think I pinpoint why I feel so emotionally invested and connected to her passing. I think I see a lot of me in her. I think our struggles with mental illness ran at somewhat of a parallel. Ideation always at the back of our minds like a devil that won’t leave our shoulders.

At this time, all of my love and wishes go to the Coyle family and anyone who loved Kassidi. I think it’s also important that we hold true to ourselves that suicide is not a selfish act. Being that sick for that long is nothing short of terrifying. And it may sound twisted, but I am so happy for her to finally have found her peace. To not constantly hurt. I am so joyful that she got to be in control of her mind for the first time in what I imagine is a long time. It can be hard as a loved one to accept that someone’s happy place is somewhere other than with them. Her love for anyone in her life is not diminished by needing to leave them.

I wish I could be more articulate or more eloquent or put what’s in my heart into better words, but this is all I can get down right now.

“If you could hear me, I would say that our fingerprints don’t fade from the lives we’ve touched.”

If you would like to donate money to give Kassidi a proper memorial service and help her family in this time, please visit the following link and give whatever you can: https://www.gofundme.com/in-memory-of-kassidi-coyle