Tell me it’s not true
Be brave, you said. Write it. Women like us need to see themselves in its pages.
You wanted to be the first to read my book. You wanted to know if I could untangle our brains from our sins; if redemption was even possible. By telling my story, yours would find a way to exist in this world.
You grabbed my hand and looked straight into my eyes.
Okay, I laughed. Okay.
After that, you would message me when I was absent, or if I had a Facebook meltdown. You’d send me photos of beaches and storm clouds and pink gerberas. Our fathers died within 2 months of each other. Our lives were sticky and complicated but we had a kinship. We kept trying to meet up again but either I was busy or your kids were sick. Still, you kept in touch. I never told you how grateful I was for that.
I didn’t reply to your last message. You were less buoyant than usual. It was 2 days before Christmas and I was trying to keep my shit together. I thought I would just text you in the new year – I had some chapters for you to read.
I never replied.
A few weeks later you were dead.
I’m not blaming myself. I know the odds when we are unmedicated, and without a support network. I know how quickly we can go from 100-0. I know that there is nothing I could have done.
I texted you anyway. Tell me it’s not true. Please.
You never replied.
I have learned so much in the last 6 months – I wish I could share it with you. I wish I could tell you about my research, my therapy, all of the ways I have been learning to fight this insidious illness. I wanted you to know that peace was possible. In the end, I guess you found it in your own way.
Rest in Peace Tracy. I will never forget the short but profound influence you had on my life.
I dedicate every word of this work to you. xx