It was exactly one year from yesterday that a close friend of mine died. She ended her own life. She had gone on medication fairly recently and upon reflection her behaviour had started to radically change, including getting in a serious single-car collision and being very non-chalant about it. She didn’t go to any of her usual supports either.
She had recently been diagnosed with bipolar, though I had spent enough time with her over the years to know she wasn’t - and she wasn’t one to hide anything about herself from me; There are things I know she only told me and will forever be safe with me. She had a rough life and she just would get really excited when things would go well, and her baseline when on her own was just low because she had a lot healing still to do - and not distracting herself or being excited allowed terrible things to come up. Her previous way to cope was distract herself, and living downtown was very easy for her to do so. She had moved out into the country soon after meeting her man and I’m not sure what she did to pass time there.
I knew her through the yoga studio I first went to. We would often see eachother downtown though. When we first started actually hanging out I soon had realized she was an alcoholic at the time. Soon after she was very open about that she had already overcome other drug addictions. She eventually stopped drinking, stopped smoking, though at the time she was addicted to going to the gym, going to yoga, and eating fairly strictly. I don’t know if there could of ever been anything romantic that could have evolved, except I realized I couldn’t be in a relationship with someone who probably had just as many issues as I had, however I decided I could be a good friend, the good friend she needed who I knew she could trust. I had already personally worked through certain life things she was going through and helped her get through some of those. One such situation she was waiting to be resolved was of a man she was waiting for to go on trial, who had done many bad things to many young girls. He was put away for life (will never be let out), and that alone let her have some peace that he could never get her again.
We both lived downtown and didn’t have any specific routine or schedule and would see eachother fairly regularly and just made plans to get lunch, go to yoga, eat too much delicious cake, drink tea, just walk and talk, whatever. And she liked to hulahoop - a lot. We’d go to different parks, I’d usually just watch because she could do some cool things.
I once stayed in her apartment for a month and took care of her fish during the time she went away to California for yoga teacher training. When she got back she thought she would leave here for good because the teacher training was so transformative for her. Immediately after her telling me that I told her that her fish died. I felt so guilty of her fish jumping out of its fishbowl (after I cleaned it and put too much water in). I went to her first few yoga classes. She eventually opened up a yoga studio. I helped her to learn to drive / to get comfortable with driving.
We did have a falling out at one point. She had ditched me about six times in a row. I’m patient though after the sixth time I needed to take a step back as I deserved better than that. She was very excited with life at that point and I don’t think she knew how to maintain bonds with people - much like how I still really don’t (and I’m not sure I’m getting better at it or if I ever will). She had just started to get serious with a good man - a kind, handsome, muscular firefighter who also does Santa Claus at Christmas - that kind of good man; I was happy for her, just not that she would cancel plans without even letting me know.
She was so afraid of how much she liked him. She later thanked me for helping her calm down and not push him away, and told me she wouldn’t have been with him without me. She wanted my approval of him too. After meeting and knowing him for a short while I certainly gave my seal of approval / big okay. They were engaged. She had asked me to be her best man at her wedding.
So much more of course that I’m not including here: Her laugh just so easily plays in your head and makes you smile, and possibly make you cry - like it just did to me. Her purple hoody - she loved that purple hoody so damn much. Her family had it on her at her wake. I had almost collapsed on the floor as I said my goodbyes and walked away, though I somehow had found a chair before my legs and waterfall of tears gave way.
There was a remembrance meditation for her yesterday that I went to. It was at the studio she started. Her mother was there among other people I figured I would see. They were happy to see me as they hadn’t really heard from me in awhile now. I have mostly been hiding from many people as I’ve been going through a tough time myself, and as contradictory as it sounds, it is difficult to be around people that I care more about as it would just bring up too much. I am starting to come out of hiding, though it is still tough.
The seemingly short thirty-minute meditation was helpful for me. It was really just time to think back and allowed happy memories to flow through my mind. I don’t know what to think that it has been a year of time. The only thing different to me is the disbelief is a bit less strong. I have had a chance over the year to revisit places and remember the good memories from those and that has helped some. I hope I can open myself up and make myself more available to the people I care about this year. I miss her.