When I lost a friend to suicide. Written by Maggie Zimmerman.
TRIGGER WARNING: Suicide
I left for vacation on May 26, 2018. I was so unbelievably excited to spend a week in Florida with my best friend and her family. The trip was amazing. I was having the time of my life, and I was so incredibly happy. I arrived home on June 2nd and it was hard to contain all of my excitement. I rushed to tell my parents all of the fun things that my best friend and I encountered, but I could tell something was wrong.
My parents were both sitting on the couch, holding hands tightly. This was not uncommon, but there was no sign of joy in the room. When I took a seat across from them, my mom told me something: My friend had died by suicide while I was on vacation.
I was shocked. My world stopped spinning and I forgot how to breathe.
My friend and I were not the closest anymore, but we grew up together. My dad was a high school band director and her dad was the assistant, so we were constantly playing together as our parents rehearsed the band. She was a year younger than me and her sister was a year older, which meant we were the perfect trio. As kids, we all went on the “Polar Express” train ride and got to meet Santa Claus. All of these memories came flooding back to me.
I was never going to see her again.
I didn’t cry; I didn’t do anything. I sat in shock. My mom said that calling hours had already happened and they had gone. She didn’t want to ruin my vacation, so she decided to not tell me.
I miss my friend constantly. I see her older sister once a week at orchestra rehearsal which brings back happy, yet painful memories.
You are not alone. I am here for you. We are here for you.
I will always love you, Jade.
(Name changed for privacy purposes.)
If you or a loved one is struggling, you can reach the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. Click here for more resources and helplines.
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Written by Maggie Zimmerman.