I think about your suicide note a lot. I have no idea how many times I have read it but know it must be well over 100 times. As I sit there and read the lines where you tell us that you were sad all your life, I reflect back on the whole entirety of your 23 years that I was witness to and it is the biggest contradiction that could ever be.
Pictures in my 30 plus family picture albums loom out before me; pictures of a happy little girl with blonde hair and glasses happily hunting Easter eggs, opening Christmas presents, and enjoying herself at Disney World. As the time goes by I see a teenager and young woman that was such a vital part of our little family, happily charting out a course for her life and seemingly enjoying each step of the many steps that would make her dreams come true.
The words “I have been depressed longer than I remember” call into question all the things I saw in your face, all the actions of your life, the wonderful heartfelt talks that we had, every smile I saw on your face. Can such a little girl fake happiness? Can such a beautiful and talented young woman fake being happy? I have a difficult time with that. I wonder if all that I saw was real or not. This horrifies me because the beauty and happiness of you was one of my reasons for living. For my children to be happy was my greatest desire. Then I find out that you were not.
This is nothing new, I’ve struggled with this the moment that I read your note for the very first time sitting on your couch at your apartment, your body lying in the hospital you were to start your clinical rotations at.
Perhaps at the end you were in such darkness that you only thought your depression was all your life; maybe it just seemed that way. Please tell me all our precious moments were real that it was not you just trying to look happy.
For my own preservation, I’m going to think that all those smiles and all that I experienced with you was real, because, truly I think it was. However sad you were you hid it well, but I believe all the moments of happiness that I saw in your life and the love and goodness that you gave were so very real….because something so deeply genuine in its presentation could only be real.
It was all real. Please don’t tell me it was not. How can one of the most important experiences of my life not be real?
I was real….it was real…..it was real.