Monday, September 1, 2008

Whisper her name...

Talk about an eventful night.

Last night, I had a birthday party for a friend of mine. It was a special birthday party though, definitely not the typical kind. First of all, she doesn't live in northern California. She's in Santa Barbara. Well, really, she's buried there.

My first real week in New York, my friend killed herself.

I remember getting the call. My mom called me at 10am on that Friday morning. I was upset that she had called that early because it was my only day to sleep in, and I wanted to sleep til noon. I didn't pick up, but she didn't leave a message. I called her back right away, asking if it was important. She said it was, but if I was still sleeping I could call her back later. That caught my attention. She was calling to tell me that on Wednesday, M had taken her life.

I hadn't talked to M in a few months, so I didn't really know what was going on in her life, but she had emailed me around Thanksgiving to wish me a happy birthday and to comment on the fact that I was thinking about becoming a Jewish educator. She thought it was so cool that I might be a rabbi or a cantor or a teacher of Judaism. She told me that she was bragging to her boyfriend about it and everything.

God, I miss her.

We were never that close or anything, but our families were in the same group at the temple. Our Havurah (basically a group of families that make up another family) always had events planned, so we hung out a lot. When I was younger, I actually thought she didn't like me. Of course, that's how I feel about a lot of people, but for her it was worse because she was in my Havurah. Anyway, eventually we became a little closer, hanging out when our moms would get together. She was such a tomboy, and I was a girly girl, so our personalities clashed, but one day when it was raining we put bathing suits on (I put the top of mine on backwards) and did a rain dance. There are pictures.

Anyway, last night I had a birthday party for her, and I guess things just hit me harder than I was expecting them to. It also didn't help that I drank a lot. (For those of you who want to know how much I had - an entire bottle of white wine, a triple sec and pomegranate juice, two and a half pina coladas...that's all I can remember. It's possible I had other drinks.) There was a lot of crying, and a lot of text messaging, and a lot of conversations that should have been had while sober. I think the thing that keeps getting me through this is that at least she's not hurting anymore. Silver lining.

Happy birthday, M. I hope you're doing better, wherever you are.

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