One year later: friendships, suicide, grief, and acceptance

Exactly one year to the date, my best friend decided to end her journey here on earth. I received the text message two days after the fact, and I didn’t accept it until about 6 months later (and still only partial acceptance). 

One month after her passing, I had a beautiful dream of her. 

A note from my personal journal dated September 26, 2012 reads, 

Last night I had a dream of Alex…I cried a lot today. I cried because I missed her. In my dream, she was really happy and really beautiful. There were colors of blues and whites around. She was wearing all black but she was beautiful. Almost angelic.

Not long after I had this dream, I decided to see an elder about it. During this time, I also started a separate tumblr blog aside from my Kwe Today tumblr to help me write about my grief/loss/feelings. It was much easier to do than to write in a journal which I still do aside from all of this lol I just like writing okay! 😉  

I wrote about what the elder said to me and reading back on it has helped me to accept what has happened along the way. Here is part of that blog post: 

I also saw an elder today. He told me I would see her one more time and that she would tell me she was alright. He told me my dreams were telling me that she was alright. He also gave me some nice teachings on suicide. It is not the end of a journey; rather, it is the start of a new journey. Whatever she had to deal with in her life, it was too much for her too handle and we cannot judge her for her choices. We can only see to understand them as a friend. We must remember her life for who she was as a person. He said blatantly, “It is not suicide…it is the end of a journey.” That feels nice to say that and to have it said to me like that because it takes the hurt and the pain out of the action along with the violence associated with it. He also said I need to do my own memorial for her. (You can read the tumblr post here). 

A lot has happened since I began to slowly accept my friend’s passing. It took me a long and hard time to get here. One of the things that has happened was the local anti-human trafficking coalition was exploiting her suicide as a way to advance their own political, anti-sex work agenda. It was a total disrespect towards her family and her son, since she was not trafficked. I wrote about that BS in this blog post entitled “Caught in human traffic lies.” She was a local dancer, and I worked with her. We met each other in the industry and that is how we became good friends. I remember the day I first met her. It was after a few days when people told me to be careful of Alex and I kept thinking, “Who is this Alex girl?” Then when I needed a locker to place all my things she also happened to be working that day and she said I could use her locker. I said to her, “but it has no lock on it.” Yet, the locker did have her name in big bold, graffiti-like letters that read “Alex.” She pointed to her locker and said, “But it has my name on it and nobody touches my shit.” She was correct because both my stuff and her stuff were never touched when we left our stuff in the unlocked locker. 

When I first received the news of her passing, I was driving to my sister’s house on Manitoulin Island. Today, I am sitting in my sister’s house on the same island and I am at a different place in my life. It has a lot to do with I had done over the past four months. 

This summer I was living and working in a northwestern Alberta community. I had an amazing partner, an amazing community contact, and also made some amazing friends! Oh did I mention they are all amazing 😉 

At the end of the program, I had to share with them that this time last year I was grieving the loss of my friend. This time, however, I will be honoring the memories of my friend’s life and celebrating the lives of all my 20+ friends from the summer. It took me a long time to get to the point of acceptance of her passing and to the acceptance of new friends in my life but all these stupendously awesome people I met over the past four months have help to make it easier. I am grateful for all that I have experienced in this past year and I am excited for the next coming months! 

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3 comments

  1. I just read this after a day in deep grief.
    I spent 2 decades in the st. I lost so many people…i wish for you a better tomorrow, because I know that grief takes 1 more day to make you feel better. Just 1 more day. That’s what I convinced myself.
    and you are right, no one ever used her locker.
    peace,
    Gypsy

    1. Thank you Gypsy! Your comment at the end “you are right, no one ever used her locker” gave me chills. I am in a much better place and I will keep you in my thoughts/prayers to help you overcome your grief. Xox

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