A simple thing really. I ran out of cloud space while filming my dog today. I began to check settings and deleting unnecessary things. Then it happened. My eyes filled with tears as I saw an email from you. You’d sent it to me after my beloved Callie died and I was on the “crazy train of grief”. I’d cut inches off my hair then the next day cut even more. I can still see the look of shock on your face when I pulled in your driveway a few days later; you’d never seen me in short hair, never knew that I had curls resembling drunken corkscrews. The email began with your usual sarcastic wit that I’d come to love. You offered to lend me sheep shears for my next cutting adventure but warned they were the “manual type”. You suggested a mohawk for less upkeep with a matching one for my hubby. You made a point of telling me that your cat’s had “no comment” on my hair. Then you shifted gears and wrote a beautiful letter about my loss. You mentioned little “Callie-isms” that I never knew you’d noticed. You spoke of her as you did of your cats, with love and kindness. How the first thing you recognized when we’d met years before was her uncanny devotion to me, a devotion you never saw waver even towards the end when her body was weak.
I’ll never forget you nor will I ever stop loving you. Our friendship transcended the usual male female relationships. I never knew exactly how to describe either of us ~ gender fluid? Intergender? All I know is we had a wonderful, platonic friendship built on trust, an emotion that doesn’t come easily to me. We felt so secure, so safe with each other that we shared many dark parts of our lives. You will always have a special place in my heart because death ends a life, not a friendship.
I will always hold your memory close to my heart but I must move on now. I can’t weep during the day and toss and turn at night. I can’t continue to forget to eat and stay sequestered inside my house. I wish I could have saved you; I wish I could have convinced you to return to counseling, renewed your prescriptions, insisted you promise that you would call me before you picked up a gun. Hell, I wish I had searched your house for a gun!
Sadly, I can’t change a damn thing and even though it’s causing me severe anxiety and heightened depression, I HAVE to pull myself together. I have a legal matter looming on the horizon. Jury selection is in two weeks. It’s been a long four years which I don’t think I would have gotten through had it not been for your support and unwavering loyalty. I’m terrified and wish you were in the courtroom every day as you promised but in hindsight I realize your own pain was simply too great to carry any longer. But I have to see this through, not just for me but for you as well. The defense attorney took one sentence from my therapist’s session notes and as you know, she ran with it, thinking she’d found her “smoking gun”. Her questioning of me is going to be brutal and I have to find a way to prepare myself. I was supposed to go to counseling every week beginning last October so I would be prepared but after only two sessions life got in the way when Callie was diagnosed with lymphoma. Then it was one thing after another and I never went back. Now it’s too late. The attorney is going to bring up things that happened decades ago, events that have zero relationship to the crux of the case. She’s going to question me about my darkest hours, about secrets that I haven’t shared with my own family and I don’t know if I have the emotional stamina to get through it. How can the horror I suffered decades ago be relevant to what happened in 2012? How can the legal system allow me to be excoriated over events that happened before I even began school? Events I had no control over? The only way I can prevail is if I begin to address each nightmare now in the safety of my home as opposed to in a public courtroom. All my life I’ve been running and hiding but your suicide made me realize that running isn’t the answer. It’s time to bring the memories out, address them for the evil they were, then lock them away so that they can never hurt me again. You of all people can understand this for even though you’re gone, I want to believe your essence remains.
I’m going to win, but first I have to search deep within myself for answers.
I know you’ll understand…