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Thread: The end of an era

  1. #1

    The end of an era

    She called me on the last day of her life; a Sunday night -- this Sunday night -- out of the blue. We hadn't talked in over a year.

    "Goodbye," she said. "I called to say goodbye."

    I didn't need to ask where she was going. I knew. I knew where she was going. I also knew that nothing I could say or do at this point would truly make a difference to her. Not if she was determined enough. And yet, I told her to wait.

    "Wait. Hold on. Let's talk about this."

    "Too late," she said. "I've talked enough."

    I didn't even try to argue that particular point. I just called a taxi, and when I'd finally made it clear to the driver where I wanted to go, he looked at me as if I'd grown a second head. "Really? At this hour? That's going to cost you, lady."

    It did. It cost me half of last week's pay. The other half will probably go towards my phone bill for that night.

    I kept her on the phone for more than two hours, across a hundred miles of highway and some curvy roads. I thought -- hoped against hope -- that I was getting somewhere with her. And then her cell phone died.

    The ambulance got there only seventeen minutes before me. It was too late.

    Death by fire. Third time's the charm, they say.

    Her first attempt, at age fourteen, bought her a nigh-endless string of psychiatric institutions. The second one, at age nineteen, prison.

    She is -- was -- twenty-one years old now. And finally, she'd gotten what she'd wanted all along.

    There used to be a time when requirement number one for being friends with me seemed to involve an utter lack of attachment to the land of the living. Self-loathing and a death wish -- no matter how half-hearted -- were once the only things I found myself having in common with the thin slice of my peer group who would willingly hang out with me.

    I grew out of it after a few years. Some of them didn't. And so, I spent an alarmingly big slice of my early twenties taking phone calls from, IM'ing with, and holding vigil at the bedsides of, people who were either contemplating death at their own hands, or who had just narrowly let it slip them by.

    At some point, I decided that it had to stop; and so I broke contact with most of them.

    She is the last in a long, long row. I truly couldn't tell you what ultimately happened to most of the others. It's been far too long since they were a daily part of my life, and I know, as convenient as that sounds, that whatever did or didn't happen in their lives since then probably had very little, if anything, to do with me.

    I still can't help but wonder, of course. What if we had kept in touch? What if I had been close by, not halfway across the country, when she called? What if I'd been able to come up with something else to say -- something that truly mattered?

    But it's pointless now. Tomorrow is her funeral. I will be there to say goodbye to her. I will be there to mourn her loss, no matter what she herself would have said about that.

    I'll be saying goodbye to a part of myself, as well -- the part that belonged in a world where people routinely think up twenty ways to die before breakfast. And I don't think that's a loss I will mourn in the slightest.

    Still. It shouldn't have been this heart-breaking.

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Rochester, NY
    Posts
    3,864
    oh no oh sara..... HUG!!!!!!! there really is nothing you couldve done!!! you tried your best, but ultimately she wanted this. so horrible. i'm so sorry!
    "Smells like death in a bucket of chicken!"
    http://www.elportavoz.com/

  3. #3
    It is heart breaking Sara.

  4. #4
    My condolences Sara, may she rest in peace. Thankyou for being there as much as you could.

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