A little over 2 weeks ago an old and dear friend of mine, Ray (Luray), found me and made contact through MySpace. She and her first husband David (my old house mate) were pillars of support for me during a very dark time 12 years ago. When the marriage between her and David ended about 10 years ago, I tried to keep in contact with her, but as life does we up drifted apart and lost touch.
I was thrilled that she had found me. In her MySpace messages to me, she sounded happy. She did, however, have some issues with her lungs and throat, and they were keeping her from singing. (She and her husband are in a musical duo called Vertigo Butterfly) In addition, she was going in for a mammogram and was a tinge worried, but nothing NOTHING in her mail indicated she'd pull something like this. She spoke of her daughter, Ruby, with love and adoration, spoke of how much she loved and missed Europe and mentioned wanting to visit me, talked of the house they just bought in Portland and spoke about how much she missed Seattle.
It was my turn to reply to her message, and I intended to reply directly to her email as I don't really get on to MySpace much. However, I got busy. I did think about her during the week before this and wanted to email her a proper email when I had a chance. I regret now that I didn't of course.
On Monday I found out about this:
It was a horrifying shock to say the least. The world just seemed to be thrown off kilter when I read the article. I felt ill and couldn't breathe. I picked up the phone and dialled the first person that came into my mind, Matt, who offered to come over (thank God).
I spent the rest of the week trying to get my head around it and making sense of it. There is no sense to made of a murder-suicide. There is no way I could understand their motivation behind it without knowing the details behind it. I logically know that if I had emailed Ray back when I intended, it would have made no difference. However, I still can't help but wonder if there might have been something I could have said that might have changed the course of events. It's a thought that has been keeping me from sleeping. Another thought keeping me up at night is that if this is upsetting me, a friend from the past who now lives thousands of miles away, as much as it is how on earth are her close friends and family dealing with it?
I've experienced the death of a few close friends. By this point in my life, you would think that I would be an expert in the area of grief, but this tragedy, albeit removed from my daily life, really affected me deeply. My friend, Stephanie, wisely said, "...what you feel when someone dies can vary widely based on how they die." My friend Russ pointed out that I should "...just remember they are happier now, try and keep it in perspective. Don't let their pain become yours. You still have your life ahead of you. Stay focused on that and remember the good times. This way you will really honour their memory."
I'll never understand why she chose the action she did or why she took her daughter with her. There is nothing I can do at this point except acknowledge that it happened and continue down my path. However, I'm not allowing my busy schedule to get in the way of replying to messages from people I care about any more.