A letter to my dear friend Lisa; it’s been one year..you are missed, so very much…by Chuck Duboff

© Chuck Duboff
Lisa S

Lisa. I walked into the gym this morning and you weren’t there. You weren’t there yesterday either…and I’m pretty sure you won’t be there tomorrow morning. I keep waiting for you to say: “Chuck, we came here to workout, not listen to you sing!!”. I’d give anything to hear that one more time, to see “the look” one more time.

Lisa…it’s one year since you left us. Deep in my heart I knew the unbearable pain you were in. When I heard that you had had enough, I was shocked, but not surprised. You were such an intelligent, beautiful woman who lived her life filled with pain, self-loathing and insecurities.

Lisa…our friendship was so very special and unique. We understood each other at a level that most people couldn’t relate to. One minute you and I were making plans to go to 529, the next minute you were yelling at me that you didn’t want anything more than hello’s from me. I understood…I go to the same place Lisa; you knew that…and you understood that…you understood me as I understood you.


There are evenings when I just lie in bed and think about you and the tears start; sometimes for the fun things like the floppy hat by the pool or the debates we got into about favourite ice cream flavours. Other times the tears are for the dark days we helped each other through; I remember the sadness in your voice when you talked about my angels Laine and Ben…I know how very much the thought of not having a family pained you. The tears really start when I remember how much you helped me get through the nightmare of Tannis; you knew how to get on me, to raise your voice, to elicit the words that got through to me. I miss that Lisa…

Lisa: I put on Leonard Cohen singing Hallelujah when I started writing this letter; last September, while I was in a state of shock about your suicide…I listened to this song over and over and over. Somehow the words, the music, Cohen’s voice helped.

I listen to this song Lisa…and it brings tears…I listened to it for weeks on end after you left us…it’s cathartic:

Lisa: you know this more than most anyone…there are days when I wish I could just join you and see that smile one more time. But, I am so very blessed with my kids Carly, Matthew, Chris, Laine and Ben; they keep me strong, they give me hope, they give me that one thing that I know you missed in your life. I will be with you one day, that we both know.

Lisa: I still have your self-written obit on my kitchen fridge; the other day Laine and Ben were over. Laine asked what happened to you and I simply said that you weren’t well. Laine commented how very beautiful you were, while Ben said: “that is so sad Zaida Chuck..she looks so young.”

Lisa: it’s a year now since you left us. There are days when I simply can’t process you being gone. You’re on a holiday, right? You’re having a difficult time and just staying in your condo, right? You’ve gone to a facility to get help, right? There are days when I hope and pray that perhaps you will walk into the gym in the morning.

Lisa: I still say a peanut butter crunch blizzard is the best; I sure hope that where ever you are that they are serving you the absolute best ice-cream.

Lisa: I miss you so very much. The special love we had for each other will never change…when I’m going through difficult times, I hear that voice of yours getting after me. Big hugs Lees…love you.

Lisa S


3 thoughts on “A letter to my dear friend Lisa; it’s been one year..you are missed, so very much…by Chuck Duboff

  1. I was hoping to wake this morning, and see that you’d written about Lisa – my dear sister. You didn’t let me down Chuck. Thank you. I love the little laughs you included, especially about your relationship in the gym. We all heard about the singing!!!

    Although I had difficulty sleeping last night, obviously a result of what today symbolizes, I am at peace. Lisa suffered more than anyone in life should, and the efforts she made toward her recovery are more than remarkable. She was a strong girl and only left us after every effort was made to stay with us. Those of us who knew her well, understand her reasons for leaving and we do not judge her.

    As my family spends some quiet time together later today, I know Lisa will join us for our dessert – Ben and Jerry’s ice cream! I plan on getting a selection of flavours and letting my kids eat as much as they want!


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