My closest friend committed suicide when we were barely 20. I often visit her; visit us; living the moments that we spent together and creating the moments that we may have lived in our older age.
A decade has passed and time and again, I find me asking the same questions –
Why did she ever have to resort to suicide?
Why didn’t she speak to any of us?
What was her pain?
What was so strong in her life that disturbed her as much that all our love could not compensate?
Was it really the pain that took her away or was it some anger?
Would she have toiled in letting go of that last breath or was she relieved when she succumbed to death?
Did she even realise what she was doing?
I have gone over these thoughts innumerable times and yet I have no clues why did she do this? The worse, there never will be any answer whatsoever.
There are days, even now, when am so angered at her decision of taking her life; and as she took hers, she took away a part of ours too. She left us with a broken soul in the forever company of anguish, sadness, anger and helplessness.
On other days when I feel her vulnerability, I realise that perhaps her pain was unbearable and she was tormented so much that this is the only way she saw a release. It couldn’t have been easy for her. She must have ached, perhaps even loathed herself, in leaving her mother and father behind as she did. It was her way to deal with her predicament – she chose a ruthless permanent way out from her transient impermanent problem.
However much I empathise with her, she shouldn’t have had ended her life. The least she could have done was pick up the phone and spoken to us – we were her closest friends. She shouldn’t have been so cold blooded about the act. Had she thought this over or perhaps even postponed it a little, she would be here with us – talking to us about the lack of/presence of a man in her life, or how monstrous her boss is, or the places she would like to travel or even go shopping with us to pick up ribbons for the twin daughters she always wanted.
She was a vivacious girl. Under her innocent face, was this devil prankster. Looking at her no one could imagine if she was capable of any mischief but she was a live wire. She wanted to live for her parents, for her dreams, for her love. She wanted to run corporate, raise kids, and be her parents’ aid in their old age. If her reasons for living were so strong, were her reasons for dying stronger? Or did she stop living before she actually did die? Was the hatred or anger stronger than the love which so many of us have for her?
Her reasons were her own and they have dissipated with her. Even if there was a reason, it will not be able to offer any comfort. She abruptly pulled the strings, denying us our very right to know if she even knew what she was doing. She took away everything of hers like she never even existed. She left us all infuriated and full of guilt – guilt of not being able to forgive her or forgive ourselves.
Despite all this, I know she deserves forgiveness and acceptance of her decision. Am not sure if I’ve let gone of her treacherous act but I think I’ve forgiven her.
Today, as I embrace her, I feel her reciting Canon Henry Scott Holland’s words
Death is nothing at all
Death is nothing at all. I have only slipped away into the next room.
I am I, and you are you. Whatever we were to each other, we are still.
Call me by my old familiar name, speak to me in the easy way which you have always used.
Put no difference in your tone, wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow.
Laugh as we always laughed at the little jokes we enjoyed together.
Pray, smile, think of me, pray for me.
Let my name be ever the household word that it always was, let it be spoken without effect, without the trace of shadow on it.
Life means all that it ever meant, it is the same as it ever was; there is absolutely unbroken continuity.
Why should I be out of mind because I am out of sight?
I am but waiting for you, for an interval somewhere very near, just around the corner.
All is well.