For Angela, on a Hard Day

first flowers

Today my friend Angela, who I met through a support group for people who have lost someone to suicide, is dealing with the same horrible anniversary that I had to get through on December 21st.  Her love Jon took his own life a year ago today.  Like Tony, he chose a Friday, so yesterday was a very hard day for my friend, too.  Like Tony, he locked the doors. 

There are so many parallels between Angela and me.  So many similarities.  We are close to the same age.  We lost the men we love in similar ways.  We started emailing each other, and then moved to Skype.  I’ve never met her in person, but I love her.  I’m hoping that I can get to where she lives, in Scotland, in the coming year.

Last year when I wrote about grace I hadn’t met Angela, yet how can I fail to acknowledge that she is part of the grace that has surrounded and supported me since Tony died?  She and I, we understand each other.  We can speak in a kind of shorthand because we are traveling the same horrible path. 

I’m writing about her today because I wish I could be there with her, to hug her and let her know that she really can get through this day, even though it may not feel like it.  Her experience leading up to this day has been much like mine – a sense of impending doom, unwanted thoughts about this time last year and all of the doubts and questions about what signs we might have seen, or worse, SHOULD have seen. 

Grief is not linear, and yet there is something about this anniversary that feels linear.  It feels repetitive, like being forced to relive the days leading up to the worst day.  I doubted, many times, that I could get through it; but I’m still here. 

I love you, Angela.  You can do this.