I was halfway through my entry and I accidentally clicked "back" and lost everything. Let's try this again.
A friend of mine from my theatre class passed away yesterday. Everyone in the class received a message this morning to let us know. Although it said the cause of his death is unknown, I knew right away that he had committed suicide. I just know it.
On Monday, we had scene performances as a sort of midterm exam. He was sitting next to me and he looked absolutely out of it. Usually he was pretty quiet but content in a mysterious way. I asked if he was doing okay. He explained that he had gotten dumped the previous Friday and was in self-destruct mode. He was still drunk. I offered some words of comfort, explaining that I had gotten my heart broken once too and self-destructed for a while but eventually things got better. I gave him a few caresses on the arm in hopes of making him feel better. Our class was planning on going out for coffee to celebrate the end of the term, and I was plotting to sit beside him. I wanted to talk things through and give him my number in case he needed anything. He left before everyone had finished performing without saying a word or even looking at me. Or anyone.
Our class went out for coffee, and I was chatting with his scene partner. She said that she wasn't good at handling this sort of thing and would give his number to me, so I could make sure he was okay. Her phone was dead, so I told her to text me it when she got home. She forgot. And I remembered to ask but thought, "Oh, well, I'm sure he's fine."
And now he's dead.
I know it isn't my fault that he killed himself in the sense that he was already so far gone and unreachable that he probably wouldn't have taken up my offer for a chat and a coffee. His scene partner asked him for coffee and a chat and he never even replied to her. But I just... I feel guilty. I really do. I feel like I was too lazy to even make enough of an effort to be like, "Hey. Steven. It sucks. I know it sucks. But you can be okay. Not now. But eventually. You will be okay."
And now he's dead.
I consider myself to have a bit of a gift. People feel comfortable with me automatically. Complete strangers will tell me their deepest, darkest secrets. My friends show me the skeletons in their closet. Sometimes it is exhausting, but it is a good thing. I usually have the capacity to help the person deal with their issues. I've talked quite a few people back to their senses. A few of my friends have come to me and told me that I have, in one way or another, saved their life. It is an amazing feeling. I know it isn't an accident that I seem to have this gift.
And I just feel like I failed Steven. Steven, the young man in my class. The cute intellect. He was right there. And I could have tried harder.
My friends told me not to beat myself up like this, that it isn't my fault. And they're right. Things happen and sometimes there's nothing we can do about it. Maybe he would never have answered my text anyways. But I keep picturing the girl who just broke up with him, and I picture his mother, and I picture him dead. It doesn't sit with me.
I want to fix people. I'm exhausted sometimes by carrying the weight of others, but if the other option is going to a funeral... my goodness, I must be tired the rest of my life. And one day someone will carry my weight and I will love them for it. I just want to take all of the sad people and sit them on my couch in the basement.
I want to come down with a bowl of soup and look them in the eye. "Hey. It fucking sucks. I know. I've been there. But you're going to be okay. I promise. Tell me what you need me to do to help you."1 Comment