The following rant is lengthy, somewhat random, deep and simply unimportant in the larger picture of your own lives. However, I have thoughts that need to somehow mold into words. If you are the slightest bit interested in the events of my life, then by all means feel free to read it. If you don't care to waste your time, I understand that too (hence the reason for this disclaimer). Either way, I can't honestly say I really give a shit which you decide to do. I don't have the energy to bullshit you.
Writing makes me feel better, so this one is for me...
I just got back from Idaho a couple hours ago. The weekend was surreal. And I am not the same anymore.
Since the Wednesday before last, when I heard the news about Liz, I have spent only two nights sober. I realize it's not helping anything to go into self-medication mode, but it's all I've really wanted to do lately. So I've done exactly that.
The thing yesterday for Liz did not turn out to be so much of a funeral. Instead, it was a get-together at her family's house with the people who cared about her most. We had food and shared stories about her. We watched a slideshow tape of many photos of Liz and Wayne (her brother) growing up. It was really nice actually. And I found it fascinating. It made me smile.
I am still haunted by an image I keep of her in my mind. We went out for drinks and conversation barely two weeks before she killed herself. In this image, she is smiling at me like only she could. (You had to have known her to understand.) And I can't stop thinking about it; about her. I was the last one to talk with her. I don't mean "hi how are you?"-s, I mean actual conversation. I was the also the last to hug her, which I did twice. It's possible I may have also been the last to talk to her on the phone... but I believe she may have spoken to her parents just after she talked to me.
I called her a few days after I got back from that first trip. The first thing I gave her over the phone then was an apology. I told her I felt bad because I didn't really get to say goodbye (referring to that night we got to spend together). I don't remember her really even replying to that statement. If only I knew how ironic that would be in the days to come...
The second time I could finally get ahold of her, sometime that next week, she was replying to my message I had left regarding something I wanted to talk to her about. (By that point, she wasn't accepting many calls or even checking her phone much as far as I know). She asked what it was that I wanted to talk to her about, but I didn't really know what to say. My real reason for calling was just to check up on her; to see if she's alright; to hear her voice and know that she's still here. I had been so worried by then. So I proceeded to ask her if everything was alright. After a slight pause, she calmly replied, "It will be soon." She sounded so emotionless that day. Still, I went on trying to get her talking about our plans for August and all that, hoping it might spark some excitement and remind her she has stuff to look forward to. She mentioned that we had "already talked about all that." And it was obvious she wasn't in the mood to talk with me anymore. I understood, thinking that she could use some rest or something like that. I told her to call her brother because he really wanted to talk to her. Then I told her the usual "take care of yourself" stuff and let her go. Before we hung up, she told me word for word, "Tell my brother I love him and I sent him something in the mail." I promised that I would do exactly that, and also told her that she and I would talk soon. But we never would again...
I immediately called Wayne after hanging up with her and told him what she said and everything. I let him know how worried I was about her. He couldn't get through to her after that as far as I know.
For those of you who don't know yet, here's what happened in detail (from what investigators could best put together):
Liz left her house on Saturday morning (April 22nd). She packed up her most personal items and took all of her clothes from the closet. She also cleaned her room as if she had never lived there. She went through her notebooks and tore out many pages. Then left a note for her parents apparantly saying something about going into Moscow to stay with a friend...
Police think that Monday night (04/24) was when she killed herself.
Liz checked into a Motel 6 in Spokane Saturday evening. Apparantly, she had been stockpiling pain killers that were being prescribed to her for a certain medical issue. She wrote some things in her diary. Pages, actually. Then she put a sign on the door that said "Caution: Dead Body", hoping to keep the maid from having to deal with the shock of finding a body in the room... Liz then took all of those painkillers she had, and proceeded to take an overdose of over-the-counter sleeping pills. And as a fail-safe, she filled the bathtub with water so that when she passed out, she would drown.
They found her the next morning and called to inform her parents. Her parents then of course called up Wayne to let him know, and he left me a message the next day while I was at work saying that he got some "bad news". Of course as soon as I heard the message, I knew what he meant.
So the police are still holding some of her personal items, as well as her diary... pending lab results confirming it was in fact, a suicide. Her clothes were not in the room when they found her. Nor were the missing notebook pages. Nobody knows what she did with them. Perhaps she gave them away... threw them all in a dumpster.... burned them.... perhaps she even just threw them out the window somewhere along the highway. We don't know.
The autopsy showed signs of "light drowning", just as she had planned. She was cremated late last week. Police did release a photocopy of part of her diary that they found. They gave them to her parents. I got to read that for myself... It was incredibly raw and honest. Some very personal things in there, some random phrases and notes, some inside jokes only meant for certain people to understand...etc. On one of the pages that affected me the most, she wrote this along the top:
"Hey - I just don't belong here.
Don't be sad/mad.
I am happy now."
Actually, she started out the very first page by writing something like "Ryan told me that writing really helped him, so here goes...". And I couldn't help but wonder... would she have written those suicide notes at all if I hadn't tried to convince her how much writing can help?
She was my girl. Not in a romantic sense, but in a close friend sense. Since I had the chance to spend that night with her, I've considered her the closest thing I've ever had to a sister. And I miss her.
She left a mix CD for Wayne, a goofy picture she took of him years ago with a sincere apologetic message on the back, and a note asking him to take care of her CD's. Because of this, Wayne insisted that I should take her CD collection, for three reasons...
- He knows I would never lose them or get rid of them.
- Her and I both had very similar taste and love for music. In fact, her collection eerily seems to compliment mine quite nicely...
- He also claims she said that because it was an inside joke they shared. Years ago, he had let me borrow some of her CD's when she was living somewhere else at the time. I don't know why, but somehow I never got around to returning them to her and kind of forgot about it all. (I still have many of them.) I guess she never really minded that much when she found out and never bothered to remind me about them. Apparantly, she thought it was even kind of funny. So Wayne insisted that I had to take them all. She would have wanted me to. So I did, and I'm honored to take them...
...So here I am, with a new box full of great music I haven't heard yet... from a recently lost friend with musical taste rivaling my own. She also has many mix CDs with random stuff on it. I promise to listen to everything. Everything. It gives me a new project. A way to connect with her again, even if it's only through our music.
It's funny how I keep expecting her to just show up again. I'm waiting for her to tell us it's all an elaborate joke. I want to see her smile and hear her laugh again. But she's gone. And I was really hit with a sense of finality as soon as I saw the box that now holds her ashes. Suddenly, it's physically impossible to see her again. I feel like I'm seeking closure but now know I will never find it. How do I know she was really cremated? I wasn't there. For all I know she could still be in Spokane, snickering to herself as she reads her own obituary... All I'm left with is a forced trust. I have to accept what people tell me. She died. She's gone. Her body was incinerated. She is right there in that box. I suppose I don't like being forced to accept that.
And she wanted so badly to get out of that area. She seemed excited about coming over to room with me. To start over in a new place. But she was scared. And now, all that's left of her is trapped in a box kept in the very place she was desperate to leave. I find that thought incredibly frustrating.
I still feel numb. Like part of me died with her, and I will never get it back. Before, I had told her about the way my brain works. I have a habit of seeing potential in things. I will play out every possibility, path or situation in my head before they even have a chance to become reality. For instance, I was telling her all the things I could already see us doing. I had it all planned out in my head of all the things I was going to do with her; places I was going to take her; people I wanted her to meet. And now none of it will ever happen. I feel as though we did share those experiences, and now those memories are being taken from me. Pulled. Torn. And there's not a damn thing I can do about it.
I find part of myself wishing I didn't care about anything as much anymore. Because one thing this world has continuously taught me is that the more you care, the more you will get hurt by the things you care about.