*** Warning, this post deals with some tough issues.****
It arrived while I was gone. But I knew it was coming. Her mom had requested my address a few weeks earlier. But honestly, I was secretly hoping she had not actually sent it.
My only experience with a friend committing suicide happened over a year ago. I didn’t discuss it much. What could I say? What could anyone say?
We hadn’t been as close as we once were. And, of course, reminding myself of that fact only brought on the to be expected feelings of guilt – still does.
Upon my return home, I opened many pieces of mail and packages that had been delivered during my absence but that box remained sealed.
My mom didn’t seem to comprehend what this box contained and was clearly quite curious as to why it remained unopened.
It’s difficult to explain to someone unfamiliar with any sort of situation like this that opening this box was not as simple as opening a box. It didn’t feel like I would be “opening healed wounds,” but just that it would bring the situation into reality — like a morning sun burning through the fog.
But one afternoon, it was inexplicably OK.
I borrowed my moms Gingher scissors, the ones we always used for boxes, from the dresser drawer and carefully slit the tape.
I pulled each item, handmade by her, out of the box individually, examining them as though I was trying to decipher a secret code. With every dress and accessory, I was hoping to find, something…
Immediately, I felt as though I needed to try on each piece of clothing. They fit beautifully, much to my surprise. The fabric draping perfectly, in all the right places – reminding me of a time when I felt good about myself, lived in a world surrounded by fun, energy and creativity. It’s unfortunate but a lot of that was lost when our friendship became misplaced. And perhaps it was good to have a sort of reminder. Or perhaps it’s also just too sad & upsetting that those times have passed and so has she.
I have no idea if these items were made with me in mind, if they were preselected and divided out by her, or if her mom chose carefully in order to fulfill her last wishes. Any of those are reasonable options. But, in my opinion, it is too much of a coincidence that everything actually fit my untraditional body. Clearly, these were not items just randomly thrown together. They were meant for me.
And perhaps that realization was truly the hardest part of opening the box.