This morning, I began the way I do on most Sundays. With the paper in my lap in bed as Brad watches some house show.
I don't read the sections I should, sticking mostly to Style, High Profile, the Parade, a few sale papers, and the morbid side of me always checks out the obits. I never find anything. Which of course is really what you want. To know on a weekly basis that all the people you know are still alive.
Unfortunately, today, that was not the case.
I didn't know her well. Actually, I barely knew her at all. She was a year ahead of me in high school. The first time our paths really crossed was my junior year. The summer before it started, we attended yearbook camp together (yes, there is a camp for that, and if you really care, I can tell you what we did). I have a photo I took while we were all waiting on our rooms. I was behind the camera, and it was pointed at a group of seniors. I remember they were eating suckers, and just looked happy. I spent a year's worth of seventh period with her, but that's the only strong memory I have of her.
So when I saw her smiling face looking back at me, I recognized her immediately. He bright eyes, long blonde hair. I read it. And then I read it again. She had twin girls. A husband. It listed her place of employment, and even mentioned how she had recently moved. But what caught me off guard was the mention that she 'passed in her home' at the age of 29.
What could a woman of 29 pass in her home of?
I had another friend from high school who [ultimately] had a heart attack at 24. She died in her apartment, after the hospital sent her home because they couldn't find anything wrong.
I spent the morning thinking about them. Then decided to turn to the one place where I could find the kind of information I was looking for. Facebook.
I started with the editor of our yearbook that junior year. And there it was, a few comments down, a message to another classmate. "Call me. [name] killed herself."
One side of me aches for her. I went to her page, the same smiling photo greeted me. Her status was last updated Tuesday. She had a going away party that night and was thanking everyone who attended and told them that she would miss them.
On Thursday, she accepted three friend requests.
And on Friday, she took her own life.
What had happened? Was she that upset about her move? Did it have something to do with her mother's passing in January? (as mentioned in her obit.) Did she have trouble with her twin girls? Was there trouble in her marriage? Were they in debt?
I don't know. And based on my general proximity to her, I doubt I ever will.
I know for myself, I had moments where that seemed like a logical answer. The times when I felt like the deck was stacked against me. Times when everything crushed down on me so hard that I though it could be the only way out.
But this morning, I wished I had known her better. I wished that I could have seen what others seemingly overlooked. I wish I could have talked to her. To let her know that it was OK.