Sunday again and I hit the sauna at the gym, mentally preparing for my typical elliptical set and getting ready to check my stats for the week. But first, a quick check of email. There was a message waiting for me and it was a thing I just can’t unread. A birthday reminder for my dear friend Kristy who took her own life seven years ago.
My first reaction was anger at Facebook for issuing this reminder. How callous and cold. And then, irritation that of all the Shit Facebook spends its gazillion dollars on, adding a bit of code to prevent reminders going out for people who are deceased. However, all that melted away when I went to her profile and timeline and started to read all the things that people have posted to her all these years, before and after she left us.
She was a bright, beautiful, ball of energy. A star who’s light shined and touched everyone around her and burnt out too soon. She was adopted and I always knew that, but never knew the full story until I attended her funeral in 2011. It’s unfortunate we often don’t know the true stories of people we easily call friends.
We became friends somewhere in 2004 or 2005 when she joined a girls group I was in that got together regularly to walk, talk, and play board games. She was the one who introduced me to Settlers of Catan.
My fondest memory of her was a road trip the group took to KC and her and I drove together and arrived a day before the rest of the group. We wandered downtown and had BBQ at some popular live music venue and drank cocktails until we decided that dancing must happen.
That was back in the days People didn’t have apps on smartphones, telling them where to go. Somehow, we still ended up at the perfect rooftop bar and danced our asses off until they shut the place down. It was probably somewhere in Power and Light, before that area of town marketed the name.
Somewhere in 2009 we fell out of touch due to some very personal and unfortunate circumstances. I knew she was in Pharmacy school and knew she had a history of relationship issues but had finally found a “keeper”. I was happy for her, but was too selfish to reach out and see how she was doing.
Time passes, you know, and her story is not mine to tell, but details about events leading to her suicide were also referenced at her funeral and even more so after the fact when a story her parents insisted on was in the paper. An article warning about the dangers associated with taking prescription drugs for ADHD. I knew she took them, but I had no idea what the possible side-effects were. It’s heartbreaking,
People continue to post on her timeline, mostly around special events like her birthday or class reunion. Posting most often is Mike, who was her last boyfriend. I can’t imagine how he must have felt, and still feels every day missing her.
I scrolled all the way back to the beginning, tears running down my cheeks, but I’m in the sauna so people probably presume it’s just sweat I’m wiping away. The fact that I could see her there with all the thoughts and well wishes was good. I’m sure it is somewhat therapeutic for all those people to express how they feel. I might just have to, now, paying respects to her life and the short time she was in mine, five years maybe.
Perhaps these words are enough though. I’m not sure. It’s certainly all that I can manage right now.
Happy Birthday Kristy… You are missed.