The backstory to today’s entry can be found here.
It’s been just over a year since you died. So much has happened since then, but sometimes it feels like just yesterday when I found out you had died by your own hand. I find myself thinking about you at the most random times and I still wonder if there was something more I could have done that day we met.
The Friday after your death, I met with my therapist, Dr. P, earlier than usual. As I told him about the week’s events, how a Saturday night text hinted at something serious, where I was when I learned what happened, how I sat through your funeral completely numb, I realized I had been holding in all of my emotions, evidenced by the tears that came and couldn’t seem to stop. I distinctly remember looking down at my left wrist and touching the faint scars that are the only physical evidence of my first suicide attempt. I couldn’t take my eyes off those healed wounds as I relayed how Rabbi Stern’s voice broke as he spoke about your bat mitzvah in Israel, how Cantor Niren’s voice faltered for a moment at the end, the somber looks on the teenagers seated around me, the boy who sat next to me and how I could tell he was struggling, but I didn’t know how to help him.
Temple did a wonderful job of providing support to our shell-shocked teens. It was one of countless times I have been grateful for this community. They supported me as I carried you in my thoughts during the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention’s Out of the Darkness Walk in New York last June. I also trained to become a crisis counselor for Crisis Text Line because I needed to do something to help people who are in the same dark place and feel like they have nowhere to turn.
The day we met, I taught the class about golems. After much internal struggle, I decided to use the same lesson this year. I took great care to make sure I included the Hebrew you had helped me with that day and to ensure that the class enjoyed it. I think you would have liked what I added.
When I walk for suicide prevention in Washington, D.C. this June, I will carry your memory with me. It’s the least I can do to honor your short life. Your memory will always be a blessing, for me and the community that loved you.