WARNING: THIS POST DEALS WITH SUICIDE
Before I begin, I just want to say that transparency is difficult, but as an artist, all I can do is be raw. Over the last 10 months I have been brainstorming a way to write a blog dealing with suicide. I wanted to find answers: a solid and general "why" someone would do such a thing, the sure-fire way to prevent suicide, and I wanted a timeline.. when will I be healed of this?
After many vague statuses and Instagram posts.. I think I've finally reached a point of honesty with myself. I've taken a bite of reality. My first and childhood best friend, Desma, took her life in October of 2015 and I can't do anything to change it.
When I was 8 years old, in Mrs. Trimm's class at Aiken Elementary, my class and I had returned from recess to find a short, dark-haired girl standing in a corner of the classroom.. WITH HER DOG. Now, if you know me at all, I pet any and every animal I see. I always have and probably always will. I remember thinking she was so stylish - that never changed. This friendship escalated pretty quickly... Desma's wonderful grandmother extended her home to me and invited me over that night. I couldn't WAIT to get home and tell my mom all about this. After a ton of begging, my mom finally budged and drove me to my soon-to-be second home. We played with all of her toys until the night grew dark. We hid under her bed, completely denying the reality that I would have to leave soon.
Over the next 4 years we built a bakery (play-doh sweets + a treadmill conveyor belt), spent our summer birthdays together, and became a staple in one another's lives. As time would have it, she moved off and we lost touch for a couple of years. Although I have always had a deep regret for those years spent apart, I am thankful that we reunited in the last two years of her life.
At the end of September 2015, we had made plans to have a photo day out in Houston when I came down from Dallas to visit. I made my trip to Houston, but few days into my trip I got a message on Facebook at 11:15p from her mom asking me to call her as soon as possible. Knowing about Desma's past struggles... I did not want to make this call. Dear God, I hope she's not in the hospital. I hope she's okay. Whatever it is, we'll work through it and I will be here for her.
"Hi, ms Carla, this is Morgan, I got your message, is everything okay?"
"Hi Morgan, umm.. ... ... Desma killed herself."
I have never experienced such a heavy silence.
I went into shock. I had nothing to say. I forced a mindless, "I'm so sorry" and hurried off of the phone. Ignoring the questions, "What happened? What is it?," being asked by my brother I tried to make it to my mom's room - Desma had always been like another daughter to her - but I couldn't make it. My knees hit the tile and I fell into the tightest fetal position. Even the most abrasive hug couldn't provide the slightest bit of comfort.
The next few days were a desperate attempt to enjoy life, but in waves I would fall into the deepest pit of sadness.
The day came for her funeral. This is where I felt so unworthy. I felt that because I had missed out on a portion of her life, I should not be there. Because my memories are old and worn, I had no right. I felt that maybe I would find closure here, but I feel like it just opened another wound. Regret. Confusion. I know that people try to bring comfort by saying, "there is nothing you could have done", and I don't believe in blaming yourself, but I also can't buy that. I think that there is something we can do.. we can love and show interest in those around us - we can pay attention to the signs. We can step outside of ourselves whenever someone needs somebody to put heart and work into them because they're worth it.
There is no one reason "why" someone takes their life, because everyone is different, there's no definite way to prevent it, and as I was driving home the other day I realized that there is no such thing as healing from this. I can only become better at coping with it.
I apologize if this didn't make sense or flow, my thoughts just needed to build a home today.
Half of my memories and a piece of my heart left me in October. To Desma, you are loved, cherished, and remembered forever.