Dealing with death is all new to me.
A few months ago I found out that my friend Maria had killed herself.
Normally I don’t mention people’s names on here; I try and pick designations so that if you know the person and the context, you can guess, but if you don’t have any background information it’d be hard to tell. But I guess that with Maria it’s hardly important – no employers are going to be googling her now.
Before this, the only person I knew who’d died was my biological grandfather, and I met him maybe half a dozen times in my life (my step-grandfather is much more important). I was sad for maybe half an hour and then got over it – he was old and I didn’t have a relationship with him.
Maria was 22.
I knew her through the kink scene, and I found out about her death through the scene as well. I was at K Bar chatting to a mutual acquaintance, and we had this conversation:
“Hey, you know Maria? Crazy Maria?”
“Oh yes? What’s she done now?” (I thought it was going to be juicy gossip.)
“She’s topped herself.”
I thought it was a joke. I didn’t believe it could be real. How could something said so casually be so real?
(If anyone reading this is considering being angry at said mutual acquaintance for such a casual way of putting it, don’t. This person is not discompassionate and uncaring; though I haven’t spoken to them about it in detail, I strongly suspect that staying casual is just the way they deal with this kind of thing.)
Once it clicked, I left immediately and went straight home. Over the next few weeks I had all of these thoughts, many of them repeatedly:
- I wish I had made more time for her. I always liked her and always wanted to be friendly with her, but I was busy, she was busy, she lived a couple of hours from me, I had lots of other friends to spend time with. Although I say “friend” here, it is probably more accurate to say that she was halfway between an acquaintance and a friend. And I always thought that there would be more time…