My dear SS,
Today marks one year since you left us. One year since you made a conscious choice to take your own life. Somehow that time has gone so slowly, and impossibly fast at the same time. Those first few months were the roughest--wrestling with the guilt, the sense of failed responsibility, the unanswered questions, and the complete disbelief. I was immersed in our collaboration which meant also being immersed in your words, notes, and drawings. It meant investigating your thought patterns and trying to see things, artistically, from your point of view.
Good God you were brilliant. And fierce. And funny.
I have always said that I would never criticize someone for committing suicide. I personally could not even imagine getting to the point where suicide would be the only option, and going through with it. I have definitely had times in my life where I wished to simply not exist because the emotional pain was so great, but that was about where it stopped. Through all the frustration and hurt of you leaving us--all the questions and crying and anger--I still stand by my statement.
I am so sorry that I did not see the signs.
I am sorry if I didn't do enough.
I am sorry that you couldn't see how completely you were loved by the ones around you. And even if you could, that it wasn't enough.
I have learned that I will never stop feeling sorry. I will never cease to feel some sense of responsibility, even if it isn't true. But that's okay.
I am glad that you are free of your pain.
You will always be my fierce red-headed warrior--the woman who was always encouraging my fitness goals; the woman who got me to run a 5K; the woman who was so artistically brilliant that I will continually strive to have that kind of design sense and motivation. You were never afraid to try new things. Always up for challenges and adventures. You are my spirit animal in so many ways, and I miss you all the time.
From you, I learned to be unafraid of my love of certain things. To stop caring about what others think. To question the norm, to be bold and unafraid.
I will always hold you in my heart.
And even though no one else will get it....