Someone messaged me the other night that I hadn’t spoken to in…a long time. Years. I wanted to see what our last conversation had been before this just to refresh my memory, and I almost wish I hadn’t looked.
This is extremely personal, even for me, so I’m not entirely sure why I’m sharing it on the internet, maybe almost like a letter to her, in case there’s wifi up there and she manages to read it. I’m not sure. Maybe there’s some things that you shouldn’t share, but unfortunately I exist and I’m writing this so, here we are. I’ve broken the rules.
The last conversation I’d had with this person was on the day my best friend died, except, at the time of the conversation, I didn’t know that yet. I’d messaged this person and asked if they’d spoken to my best friend that day and they said no, and long story short because I don’t want to share too much, I was sending all of these different scenarios to this person as to why my best friend might not have been answering her phone, and that I had a really awful feeling she needed me, and that I was scared and didn’t know what to do.
The next messages in the conversation were from the day afterwards, and they were simply this.
“I’m so, so sorry Chloe.”
“I want to die”
I had a different life back then. I was a different person back then – we both were. I was surrounded by different people and everything was just different, we’d created this little world that only the two of us understood, and we lived there and we loved it, though of course, it’s all gone now. It was this surreal feeling of all of these memories flooding back to me and it just brought it all back because this person was still here but my best friend wasn’t, and this person knew my best friend but I don’t speak to many people that did know my best friend anymore because I cut myself off from everyone through fear of going insane, because I hated the fact that they still had their best friends and I didn’t, and I hated that no one understood what I was going through. I hated a lot of things back then.
It’s such a weird thing to say. She died. My best friend died. She died. No one’s ever officially told me that, actually. Those words have never been spoken to me. On the day…I just knew. No one had to tell me because all it took was one look and I was on the floor screaming at the sky. I’ll never be able to explain that moment, but whatever it was it made me believe in something. There was no reason for me to believe she wasn’t alive anymore, yet just one look and I knew. I was the first person to find out and never in my life had I wanted to be someone else more than in that moment, because everyone else’s worlds were still turning and mine had just ended.
It’s like one of those things that you say out loud so many times until the point where it doesn’t even sound like a word anymore. Or you write it down so many times it doesn’t even seem like a word anymore. She died.
I also only refer to her as ‘best friend’ now, because I almost can’t bring myself to say her name. It’s like this thing I can’t bear to write. Or see, or read. It’s so precious and sacred I can’t use it, ever. I only use her name if I’m directly addressing her or talking about her in a situation where I have no other choice but to use her name. Grief is weird. I used to be able to shout her name from the rooftops for the whole world to hear, and now I can barely bring myself to say it through fear of hearing it, because it’s so sacred I might break.
After I’d read this conversation, I sat there in silence for a little while. It was pitch black outside and the only light was that from my laptop screen reflecting back onto my face. I plugged my headphones in and started listening to sad music, because sometimes you just have to accept the fact that you’re fucking sad. I’m probably the saddest girl in the whole world, but who wants to claim that title.
Butterfly Fly Away came on, which always makes me emotional. It’s a beautiful song, but it’s sad. And I sat there staring at the wall, listening to the lyrics and smiling to myself, trying to give myself an invisible hug. Then the music got more intense and the lyrics got more beautifully sad and before I knew it I was smiling through tears, because I’m 21 and I haven’t been myself since I was 15, and sometimes all you can do is smile through it. I kept looking around my room in the hopes that maybe she’d show up, I’ve always told her never to do that because it’d freak me out but in that moment I was so ready, for the first time. I was hoping I’d turn around and see her sitting on my bed or something, smiling at me. But she never was. I always believe there’s life after death, because energy can be created but never destroyed, but in that moment I did wonder, because she’s never anywhere to be found. I call for her and she never comes. And I can never help but wonder why.
Maybe I should start speaking about her more, because I do have a best friend and she’s mine and maybe I want to start talking about her again.
I really loved myself in that moment, because if there’s one thing I can tell you it’s this. No one in this world is going to get yourself through grief other than you, because nothing and no one else will ever be enough. You deserve to heal, even if it means sitting alone in your room at 21 listening to Hannah Montana and smiling through your tears, because life is so sad sometimes it’s almost funny. Smile. It confuses people.
caterpillar in the tree,
how you wonder who you’ll be
can’t go far but you can always dream
wish you may and wish you might
don’t you worry, hold on tight
I promise you there will come a day
butterfly fly away
got your wings now you can’t stay
take those dreams and make them all come true
butterfly fly away
All my love,