Saturday, December 18, 2010

I'm so sorry Jill, I failed you


I just heard the news that you died, a year ago, December 14th. I'm sorry I haven't bothered to call, until now. I didn't know. I wondered throughout the year why you hadn't called. Your last words to me in late 2009 were "hey, you know you can call me sometimes". I got busy, found out I was pregnant on December 2nd and then my entire world revolved around that pregnancy. I never once thought to call and let you know. I knew your boyfriend had gone to jail and you were depressed. I should have gone and gotten you, brought you home with me, given you an alternative. Instead you went back to that old boyfriend who did all the drugs and overdosed with him.

I was your only real friend and I treated you so carelessly. I'm so sorry.

We met in 1999 at Smoothie King, you were 16 years old, a high school drop out. We used to have so much fun together singing and laughing while we worked. You had alot of problems with your family. You ran to bad men who treated you carelessly. You made brave attempts to improve your life, moving in with your grandparents, working at a covenant, I wonder if anyone has told them? You came back to Fort Lauderdale a few years ago and I said to myself "yeah, my friend is back, I'll hang out with her". But I was grossed out by your boyfriend, always drunk, in his underwear. You understood but we could have at least met somewhere else, spent time together. I think we saw each other twice in that time. Once while I was pregnant, and once after Charlotte was born. I got so busy being a mother that I forgot to make time for friends, especially friends who genuinely needed me.

I knew you had a drug problem but every time you called you said you were doing better. Once, when you moved mid-west to be with your grandparents, I sent you a book called "Rachel's Holiday" a story of a girl who went to rehab. A half hearted attempt to meet your need.

When you were in the mid-west, I promised to take you on a weekend cruise if you got your GED, you did, I never followed through.

I had careless thoughts about you, like she's 27, when I was that age I was traveling to Asia, had a responsible job, was married, when is she going to get her life together?

I'm making you sound really bad here, drugs, bad men, disaster family but in light of all that you were so sweet and kind. You genuinely loved me, cared about me, would have done anything for me. I made half hearted attempts to help, offering to go get you when things were bad, you always said no don't worry about me. You weren't a moocher, you never asked for money or anything. You were a good decent person.

Maybe I couldn't have done anything to save you, but I could have been a better friend. Words cannot express my sorrow at knowing your gone.


post script:
After writing this I wondered, maybe her boyfriend had lied to me, maybe he was just mad at her and was getting revenge. Maybe she left town. Then I googled her name and her obituary came up, I found her mother's name and found her on Facebook. Her mom suspects foul play. Then I remembered more of my last conversation with Jill. She had gone back to the old boyfriends house and flushed away a very expensive drug. I was shocked that she would do that, worried for her safety but she laughed it off and said he needed to learn to stop using that stuff. Does it make me feel any better to learn more? Not really, but I'm really glad I connected with her mom briefly. I still can't believe she's gone - death is so final.

6 comments:

Miss. Candy said...

Death can bring about so much guilt. I am so sorry about her death and your feelings in dealing with this. Praying for you. I too hate that life gets so busy that we sometimes don't follow through with our good intentions.

Amanda said...

(((HUGS)))

crazywildberry said...

Rachel,
You have such a HUGE heart for the underdog. It's so hard when we have the best of intentions and realize we are too late. I am sorry for your loss. Please don't beat yourself up. Call me if you need an ear or a shoulder. I will be happy to talk or just listen. You are a wonderful friend.
Love you, Gina

Grit said...

i am so sorry to read this. i think these events, we never really get over them, but they become part of us, and they become a wiser, more generous part of us too. people have a way of living on, in others.

Amy Sullivan said...

Rachel,
I am so sorry for the death of you friend.

Jeanne said...

I understand your feelings of guilt, but there was no way for you to know that you didn't have plenty of time to do these things with your friend. And, in the end, she made her own choices. She was a beautiful girl, and every life lost young is lost potential, a loss for the entire world.

Sam is so stinkin' cute I can't stand it and I can't believe how big Charlotte has gotten!

Merry Christmas!