Speaking of mourning, tomorrow (or the next day, I don't remember dates well) is the anniversary of a dear friend's suicide. It's been two years.
I've stopped forgetting and thinking I can call her, or we should really hang out.... mostly.
I met her when I was 22 and she was, I think, 10. I was with my new girlfriend at her lake cabin, and Marina was a family friend. I remember a motor boat ride in which all she said, pretty much, was, "you guys are so weird!", repeatedly - and she was clearly thrilled with our weirdness.
We would hang out together at family gatherings, the three of us, never terribly interested in "adult" conversation, even once we were all clearly adults.
Perhaps the last family gathering was a weekend at an inn, we all went for a walk in the woods and M and I ran ahead and tried to make things that looked like animal tracks in the snow, and then ran back to try to convince other people that some strange animal had been there before us (it just recently occurred to me that our own tracks were all around these, oops)
She also made snow angels with me, and tromped across a frozen lake with me when everyone else was inside watching sports or something.
That girlfriend and I broke up, and didn't talk for a number of years. Marina was key in getting us to be friends again. At one point she told me we had to talk because she was sick of feeling like she was from a broken home. Shortly thereafter, she got me to volunteer to stuff envelopes for the league of pissed off voters, right before the 2004 election, and then at the last moment slipped in. "oh, Sarah might be there for part of the time, that won't be a problem, will it?" She was a brilliant conniver sometimes.
I knew she was having a lot of trouble, I always felt completely at a loss as to what to do. She generally seemed pretty happy when I saw her, so it was hard to recognize how hard it all was. (I, on the other hand, mope at the drop of a hat). I wish I had been a better friend, called her more, perhaps even challenged her more to fight it, to value herself, I don't know. I think she had some pretty vicious demons.
This is a really old photo of us - maybe ten years ago.