Thursday, November 13, 2008

November 13th

Twenty-three years ago today one of my closest friends committed suicide. We were fifteen years old. It was the day that my family and I moved from Florida back to Connecticut. In other words, the day that I left her. Try dealing with that as a fifteen year old. Recently in a casual conversation someone was commenting on how difficult it is to be an adult and how in comparison their teenage problems seem so minimal...mine weren't. I think about Janine all the time. She only lived on this earth for 15 years, but she lives in my memories still 23 years later. After her death I had thought of writing a book about her and our friendship. We only knew each other for nine months, but she affected me in a profound way. I was just telling Jonathan and Madison about her today (something that was hard to do because as a parent you don't even want your kids to know that that kind of thing happens...Janine was only 2 years older than Jonathan is now). She was hurting and unhappy, but when she took her own life, she left her friends and family to deal with a hurt and unhappiness that was never going to go away. Janine died long before the internet and modern life as we know it, but just by chance I tried to do a google search of her name today...nothing. That made me sad, it seems like there should be something out there to memorialize a young girl who meant so much to me.

Last night the man who lives upstairs from my brother and his family took his own life. Rob, Kim and the boys were evactuated from their home which was surrounded for hours by the police, and Kim didn't even have her shoes on or her pocketbook. They only had the clothes on their backs, and they had to go sleep at our cousins' house. Rob was on the Connecticut news last night. Today when they went back to survey the situation...all the windows were blown out of their home and all of their stuff was sprayed with tear gas. They didn't have renter's insurance and they aren't sure where to go from here. They live in a quiet, safe, small town and the police don't usually have a lot going on, apparently, they used excessive measures in their treatment of the situation. Rob, Kim, Zack and John need our prayers.

This feels a little like on of those "tag you're it" kind of blogs..."23 years ago... last night..." But these are the things that are crowding my mind today. I don't feel like I've given either point in my story the justice it deserves.

And if Jake has said "Mom" once today, he has said it 1,000 times! I probably should give him some attention. So I'm going to have to end here.

9 comments:

ann marie said...

I'm so sorry, both about your friend, and your brother and his family. That is devasting. I don't think suicide is something that can ever be understood or made sense of. It makes an untimely death even more horrific. A close friend lost her sweet brother this way and people would say the most heartless things to her. What an awful thing for you to have gone through at a young age. I'm really sorry and will say a pray for you. (and your brother and family)

Randi Sue said...

So sorry for everyone involved in both situations. YOu have had a very emotional few days.

cindy said...

I always think of Janine on Novemebr 13th even though I never knew her. I felt like I knew her though from everything you had told me about her. My thoughts are always with you on this day, more than any other , I think. What a terrible experience for Rob, Kim, and the boys to have gone through. My thoughts and prayers are also with them. What a terrible thing to have to try to explain to anyone, much less an 8 and a6 year old.

crispy said...

I am sorry to hear about both of these situations.

I found what you wrote to really explain it so well, that your mind was crowded. Praying that you will be able to rest in the peace and comfort of the Spirit.

Cheryl said...

Psalm 94:19 In the multitude of my anxieties within me,Your comforts delight my soul.

Tiffany said...

Wow! I don't remember ever hearing this story. This must have been a hard day emotionally for you, compounded by what happened to your brother.
That must have been awful to handle as a 15 year old.
I hope your day today is nice and relaxing.

Emily said...

I'm so sorry about your friend. It is a beautiful tribute to her that you remember her now so many years later. I hope that your brother's situation will be resolved quickly.

StephieK said...

Oh Julie, I am so sorry. I have moments like this too. My grandfather committed suicide the day after my high school graduation. He was at my graduation celebrating with all of us and the next day gone. I think of him every June 9th.

I will be praying for peace and comfort for you and your brother's family.

Steph said...

Wow. On the day you moved. Your parents must have spent a lot of time telling you that that was NOT the reason why she did such a thing. That must have been So difficult! One of our tenants hung himself in a big warehouse he rented from us...for very temporal reason....a friend in Vero also had THREE sons who committed suicide. Now THAT is sad...she was a good, hardworking Mom so it perplexes everyone still...she recently passed from cancer...
My best friend got hit by a car while walking with her son down the road. He was 4. She was killed intstantly. I couldn't even go to her funeral I was so upset...Well, that is enough happy news for one day. Sorry. Life is so precious...it really is a GREAT reason to be thankful because it is a GIFT and only for a short time in the great vast eternity...