(From student journal submission AMH2020 Spring2020)
I have chosen this day to start my journal for one reason and one reason only. Today marks the day that my friend died. I was sitting on my bathroom doing my makeup when one of my best friends called me, I thought she was just going to ask me what my plans were for the day, so I answered with a really upbeat “hey girl!” But my smile immediately vanished when I heard her crying and I will never forget the words that then came out of her mouth “.... this is really bad. …. (I’m not including his name to protect his privacy) killed himself.”
Everything in that moment froze, I have never had any one remotely close to me die, never mind take their own life. He was my best friend’s ex-boyfriend who she had only recently broken up with, for the past year I had seen him more than some of my other best friends. I quickly picked up another one of my best friends and went to see the girl who called me. My heart broke immediately when I saw her, I had never wanted someone to be okay more than in that moment. So many emotions went through me that day: denial, anger at him for leaving us, and worst of all sadness.
T-minus one day until my 19th birthday, yet I had nothing I wanted to celebrate. I didn’t know what exactly to do with myself, or how to comfort me and all of my grieving friends. There really isn’t anything you can say or do other than sit and be sad, but nobody had ever told me that before.
This day we sat around and talked about all the good that he brought to our lives, and we threw his least favorite shoes (he had messed them up during a drunken night) onto a telephone line, well at least we tried. They ended up landing in the tree right in front of my friend’s house’s driveway, so now every time you pull in you can see the shoes, a little reminder of him.
19. This was the weirdest I had ever felt on my birthday. I went through the motions of a birthday, but it didn’t feel right. Trying to celebrate life when all you can think about is death is nearly impossible. We made the best of what we could and tried to have a good night, but I know that everyone was still hurting. I woke up and went to Publix where I very happily ordered some popcorn chicken and sweet tea. I proceeded to go to my friend’s house because they just got an above ground pool and we swam for maybe an hour, cold but fun. We ended up making a whirlpool in the pool which was quite entertaining.
Couldn’t decide what eat so we got both El Jalisco and Glory Days. Could have passed out from how full I was but I still managed to make room for the birthday cake I had made for myself. It was a half black forest cake and half chocolate with chocolate whipped cream as the frosting.
Days starting to get really morphed at this point, every day faded into the next, having no job left me with little to nothing to do.
Every day was the same: hang out with my boyfriend all day, spend the night at either my parent’s or my friend’s and repeat.