We cried. We laughed. We shared stories. We shook our heads in disbelief, frustration, exasperation, love and sadness.
It all sounds so very cliche. We got together and reminisced about our Lisa.
Yet, to us, it was so much more than just sharing. Lisa left us last September 12th and yet to all of us, we still feel like she’s going to walk into the room, be in the gym, lie by the pool with her floppy hat. But, alas, that will never be.
Sunday evening, Lisa’s sister had a few of Lisa’s friends over to say good bye to the condo…the condo which was Lisa’s sanctuary, her place to escape from the world. It wasn’t easy; talking about someone you cared about at so many levels, someone who escaped from her unbearable pain by taking her own life…many tears were shed, many deep sighs were elicited.
Lisa pushed all of us away to varying degrees; she had a push/pull relationship with everyone. Her family was without Lisa in their lives for years at a time; her best friend that she grew up with…Lisa pushed away because she couldn’t handle not being the center of her friend’s world. I bore the brunt of Lisa’s struggle, along with friends who got close to her…one minute she and I would be sharing, oh so very deeply…and then suddenly I would get a text which stated: “enough Chuck, just hello’s from now on, nothing more”.
Yet, all of us understand that this was the mental illness talking; her dear friend shared how in her teens Lisa already exhibited suicidal tendencies and an eating disorder which plagued her throughout her life.
I struggled watching Lisa’s sister speak; they bear such a striking resemblance, and share so many similar mannerisms…at times it’s like watching a ghost. The pain in her sister’s eyes are palatable…she has moments of laughter, talking about Lisa’s quirky behaviour…but that is counter balanced with so many painful stories and memories. She wants so very badly to honour her sister, to make sure that young women have a healthy respect for their bodies, that those suffering from mental health issues get the help they need. At times I could feel a desperation, a need to want to do something, anything…to make sense of a sister who lived in pain her whole life.
“Chuck, is it wrong to feel a sense of relief that Lisa was finally able to end her pain, by taking her life. She’s not suffering anymore”
We all miss you Lisa; we shed tears in our memories of you; but, we know you needed to leave this world…hopefully, you have found some peace, have exhumed the demons which brought so much pain to your life.
We all love you.
It was so much more than a cliche filled gathering. It was cathartic, it was emotionally draining…it was life at its’ darkest and most loving.