Saturday, September 19, 2015

For Stacy, A Promise

There was this woman whose wit balanced on the sharpest part of the razor, every time. I should have remembered that comedians are the saddest among us, but I did not. I was too busy smiling.

There was this woman who was about as beautiful as anyone can be. She was thin, and elegant, and she had high cheekbones and large doe-like eyes. I should have remembered that her hurdles were no lower than mine, that her loveliness did not spare her from psychic pain any more than my ordinary looks spare me. Instead, I assumed that her life was cushioned in ways mine is not, and, if I felt anything, I felt envy.

There was this woman who could write devilishly funny, and sad, but mostly funny, because that's where she staked her claim. I laughed, and because I laughed, and the world felt just fine while I was laughing, I decided that her world must feel just fine.

There was this woman who was alive, but now is not. And while I was a friend of hers, I was never a close friend -- so although I missed many of her distress calls, I will not take that on, because I had not communicated with her in a long time, and because God knows she would not want me to take that on.

But. I will be more careful with those I love. I will try to read between the lines they speak and read into the lines written in their faces. I will probe for sadness, check to see if its flames are licking at the bottoms of curtains. No longer will I stop at "I'm fine." I will reject the stock answer.


And my taking an extra step, or ten? Stacy, that is on you. Because if you could fall between the cracks, surely anyone can.

I can't bring you back, but maybe I can help someone else stay here a little longer. Maybe I can remember not to assume anything about anyone, especially when the content of the assumption concerns the private places and spaces where sadness takes root.

I think you'd like that.

Stacy Lyn Campbell, 6/22/77-9/16/15


The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline provides free and confidential emotional support to people in suicidal crisis or emotional distress 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. 1-800-SUICIDE


allison said...

You've wrung about the only possible positive response out of a desperately sad situation, so good on you for that. My condolences on the loss of your friend.

Alexandra said...

Somehow, we believe that because someone is physically beautiful, thin, talented, eloquent, popular and surrounded by friends, that they have no dark places, no frightening thoughts that haunt. How many times have we read about Stacy and the first word used to describe her is beautiful. Beautiful is so absolutely true, but not immune to anything that takes lives too early in this place. This was beautiful, my friend. Thank you.

majorbedhead said...

This was a lovely tribute to a wonderful person. I am going to miss her.

Elizabeth C. said...

There's something about the way you write - this is so simple and yet so profound. When I read you I always think, "Yes! That's exactly how I felt, but I didn't know it, or if I knew it, I didn't know how to put it into words." Anyway. Thank you so much for writing.

Kerri Anne said...

YES. She very much would have liked that. Hugs.