A bittersweet month – filled with change and firsts.
Change is not my forte. Big change unsettles me. A new co-worker to train; a co-worker of 10 years says good-bye. Feeling a little weird as the waves settle into a rhythmic pattern and all that has felt strange slowly becomes the norm.
Then the ‘firsts’ – my first charity bake. Placing first – a very happy moment. It helps to keep the sadness of another first at bay.
Death. The biggest change of them all.
And not just life ending – but suicide. That’s a first for me. I hope there’s never a second. It’s not something I want to get used to; I can’t image anyone “gets used to” suicide. It’s horrible. There’s no argument about it. No debate – no philosophic angle to expound upon. Death. Done. End.
My neighbor of 19 years committed suicide on Maundy Thursday. She was 49. Fifty seemed too much and in the midst of good things happening; she couldn’t hang on. Leaving on a high note – Ok. Maybe. I don’t know. I’m not judging. I’m just sad.
I miss her every day – she wasn’t my closest or best friend but she was part of my every day life. Our driveways were ‘kissing cousins’ and we were always gabbing over the wall. Trading this or that. She was close to my son as he grew up – she was a dynamic elementary teacher and artist. I can not even count how many times I made dinner for two and my little son would bring over his special plate and they’d have a ‘dinner’ date. She drove me crazy sometimes too – but that’s how it is with people in your life. But she’s gone now. The empty driveway – “Melissa’s Art Room” in letters on the side door to her sun room (she taught art to little random-shrieking girls on Saturdays) – I see it every day. Sometimes it’s OK – sometimes it’s less OK.
We had a little gathering for her last night. Good Bye, Melissa. I miss you – even your crazy stuff I miss. Nineteen years. Poof…done. Changed.
She tasted my test pie for the charity bake. But she wasn’t there for Easter leftovers. Thursday she was dead, I didn’t know…my world was the same. Good Friday – 7:30AM…the knowledge came and life turned upside down. It’s so odd how much ‘knowing’ makes a difference. I can see why ignorance is bliss. I didn’t want to have to tell my son – shatter his innocence with explanations of suicide. Death is hard; suicide is – well it’s something else. I was angry with her – but not anymore. I can understand, just a tiny bit from my own experience, that desperation. I hope she found peace.
This is really kind of rambling – and there’s no end game – it just is.
Melissa is gone.
That is all.