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My best friend, Becky, committed suicide last year and I don't know if I'm allowed to mourn loosing her. She and I used to be so close. We met in jr. high school and up until senior year we were attached at the hip.
Becky and I met in 8th grade. We had sleepovers, were constantly on the phone with each other, we had parties; one year on Valentine's day we were both upset we didn't have dates so we planned an anti-Valentine's day party with all of our friends. Instead of watching lovey-dovey movies, we watched scary movies and ate candy until we passed out. We even had a song we sang all the time: "Total Eclipse of the Heart" by Bonnie Tyler. We thought the music video was so funny we sang it together all the time. I'll always think of her when I hear that song. I knew she had depression; I saw the scars on her wrists. She tried to overdose in the girls bathroom once, but I didn't understand depression at the time.
In high school a lot changed. I started dating a boy and because I was so infatuated with the thought of being in love, I put my boyfriend before my friends way more than I should have. Becky got upset that I was constantly with my boyfriend and I didn't make time for her and our friends. But what did I know, I was 15 and "in love." We eventually broke up and I felt like I needed a boyfriend, so I was constantly dating, the girl who always had a boyfriend. The girl who put her boyfriend before her friends and family. I regret it now. Because maybe if I didn't feel like I needed a boyfriend, I could have spent more time with Becky. I could have been there for her. I didn't know how bad her depression had gotten.
Up until senior year Becky and I were doing alright. Still taking classes together, still having our annual scary movie night with our friends. But it faded, because I had a boyfriend, again. The last time Becky and I spoke was at graduation. We hugged each other and congratulated each other...and that was it. We moved on with our lives. After high school was a hard time for me. Getting bullied about my dating life, not having any friends to turn to. I got called a lot of ugly names and rumors started among my friends about me. The person bullying me was supposed to be a friend. So he told everyone all these lies about me, how I'm constantly drinking and sleeping with guys. Keep in mind I live in Utah, so I was severely shamed for the things people said I was doing. It got back to Becky that I was drinking and sleeping around a lot. I asked a friend that I knew I could trust, someone who still talked to her and was/still is a very dear friend of mine. His name is Max. I asked him what Becky thought of these rumors and he said she believed them, my heart sank. I was so angry that she would believe something like that. I didn't want to talk to her so I tried to move on.
A year or two later, I ran into an old friend in college. Sarah was one of mine and Becky's friends that would come and watch scary movies with us all the time. I asked her how Becky was doing and she said she was good and that we should catch up. Sarah texted me a few days later and said she was going to Becky's house for a movie night and wanted to know if I wanted to come. I wanted to go, but I was still angry. Angry she believed those rumors about me. She knew me better than anyone, why wouldn't she stick up for me? Why didn't she ask if I was OK or if she really believed that I was drinking and having sex all the time, why didn't she come to me to ask if it was really true? I told Sarah that I didn't want to come because Becky wouldn't want me there. She tried reassuring me that it would be fun and we could catch up, but I was stubborn and said no.
Sarah and I didn't speak again. We ignored each other in class. I went to therapy for all the bullying and to find out why I felt like I needed a boyfriend all the time. After two years of therapy, I got my answers. After a while I got back in touch with a friend from a previous job I had during senior year. We dated and he eventually asked me to move in with him. He lived 45 minutes away from where I was living, but I thought it would be nice to start somewhere sort of new. Away from all the drama of high school and after high school. I started working for a family that needed help caring for a family member in their home and one day, when my shift was almost over, I got a text from a very old friend I hadn't heard from in five years. After that every moment has been etched in my brain. He texted me and said, "Did you hear what happened?" and I said, "Nice to hear from you too...no? Shat happened?" He said, "Go look on Facebook." As soon as I open Facebook, the first thing I see is Becky's obituary.
I didn't know what to think, I didn't know how to act. I was shaking uncontrollably; instantly there were tears in my eyes. I sat in disbelief for a minute and went to my boss and she said, "You can go home now and thank you for staying late today." She saw the tears in my eyes and asked what was wrong and I told her, "My best friend died." She apologized and told me to go home and take the next week off. As I was leaving I texted my boyfriend and told him that Becky had died. He told me come home and if I needed to cry to pull off the side of the road. He was worried I'd get in a car crash. I didn't let myself cry on the way home because I knew if I started it wouldn't stop. When I got home he had already gone to the store and come home with flowers. He asked if I was OK and I shook my head and went to the bedroom. He followed me and as soon as he sat down next to me on the bed, I let it out. I cried for hours. I've cried a lot in my life, but nothing like this. It was like that cry that kids do when they really want something at the store, screaming, crying, I felt my face burning. I had a massive headache for days.
In the days leading up to her funeral I found out that she had committed suicide. I went to the viewing and saw her parents and siblings, and saw a lot of friends from high school. I couldn't believe that it was Becky in that casket. It couldn't be her. It felt like a bad dream. The next day was the funeral. My parents and my boyfriend by my side, we sat down and a few minutes later, Max came and sat next to me. I hadn't talked to him since I asked about Becky, and by now it had been four years since that moment. I gave him a big hug and I was just so glad to see a familiar face I could talk to.
After the funeral, Max and I stayed in contact, he came over and we had a beer just reminiscing about Becky. He asked if I had talked to her since graduation and I said, "No, she believed those rumors about me. I didn't want to talk to her because I was mad and because I didn't want her to be disappointed in me...she probably hated me." He turned to me and said, "Lacie...she didn't hate you. Yes, she was disappointed, but she always asked about you. Asked me how you were doing, if you were OK, she still loved you." All I could do was sit there and think how stupid of me...I held this grudge for entirely too long, because I was too stubborn to be the one to say something first. I cried. I can't believe I did that. I mean I wondered if she would have even wanted me at her funeral, and now when it's too late...I should have said something to her. I should have checked in with her. I got so upset at myself. Now I can't talk to her.
But I did find a way to communicate, in a very spiritual way. I found peace; this story isn't over yet...I'll tell you the rest next week.