Irrefutably Insane

December 7, 2011
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“Even if I say, It'll be alright, Still I hear you say, You want to end your life, Now and again we try, To just stay alive, Maybe we'll turn it all around, 'Cause it's not too late, It's never too late.
No one will ever see, This side reflected, And if there's something wrong, Who would have guessed it, And I have left alone, Everything that I own, To make you feel like, It's not too late.”

I hear these lyrics and I can’t help but feel the intense urge to spill by emotions onto the floor beneath me, but I regain consciousness of the world around me and try to stay calm in my desperation. October 17, 2011 is a day I’ll never forget, no matter how hard I wish to. “I’m so sorry; we did all that we could.” One sentence is all it took to turn my whole world upside down. Denial is all that I was at that moment; it was all that I was able to be. Feeling frozen in time, I stood there in front of the chapel doors; my brain refused to process the situation. An irrefutable mistake, a scarring experience, the life of a fifteen year old cut way too short; this was the moment my life changed, this is the influence that decides the next steps I take.

The distressed footsteps pounding up the stairs, at such a fast pace, was the first clue that something happened. Three words to make me rush to the car, an instant for me to piece together the situation, five minutes to be at the front door of her house. She had a history of trying things like this, but never in a million years would I have thought it’d get this serious. Of course, we weren’t let in, blocked by police and detectives. I asked for any kind of information, anything at all. All the officer said was, “I’m sorry, but this is a crime scene.” That’s the moment where I knew what happened; I was sure of it, the officer confirmed it, but I was still in denial. I can remember everything so clearly, as if it happened just yesterday, even though it’s already been over a month. Some hours spent in the hospital helped the news sink in. “She’s never waking up, she’s never walking out of this hospital with me, she’s never going to hear me tell her how much I love her, then when she’s all better, tell her how stupid she is when this is all over. I remember the hysteria in the hospital so vividly I could feel the heartbreaking emotions as if it happened just now; the hysteria caused by my cousin’s death.

She was a huge piece of my life, a piece that still seems a little too unreal to find missing. I can honestly say that now I’m able to accept it, not happily, but thankfully. Losing her broke me to pieces but, it also made me. They say hard times can either make or break a person but, this time I believe both scenarios took place. Valerie was an artist, a writer, a dancer; she was special beyond compare. She had big plans for the future; potential to the point of an almost guaranteed successful future. Unfortunately, it’s only after a death that you begin to reflect on one’s life. Piecing together her life forced me to reflect on my own. Realizations about who Valerie really was hit me like the crash of a wave on a wall of rocks; she was trapped in her own mind with no outlet caused by the “demons” within her, fighting till the end was all she could do before they ate her alive. That’s how my religion explains it, and that what I really believe happened. Being a Roman Catholic, it scared me, that maybe she wouldn’t be let into the Kingdom of God because maybe He didn’t accept people like her; it scared me to the point where I’d break down until I felt like I couldn’t cry anymore. All I wished for was her happiness, in life, and in death. No one really knows what happens after death, if there even is life after death. Aside from being Catholic, I’m a human being; I question many things, including the statement that life goes on. It's kept me awake nights, wondering. I lie in the dark, just asking why. I've always been told you won't be called home until it's your time; I guess heaven was needing a soldier somebody just like Valerie, brave enough to stand up for what you believe in and follow it through, and when I try to make it make sense in my mind the only conclusion I come to is heaven was needing a soldier.

I’ve tried to be the influence on her life but, now it seems that she’s my influence. It was supposed to be us against the world; I was supposed to be the one that took her away from all the chaos in her life, the one that changed her, the one that made her realize there’s more to life than all the negativity going on at the moment, that there actually are things you can be genuinely happy about. And because I wasn’t able to make that happen, I feel it’s my responsibility to make every moment count, good or bad, and turn it into a learning experience. When I recall the day of October 17th, I feel the hearts of my family lighting a fire in me, making me strong; strong enough to take this bitter-sweet tragedy and use these emotions to try to make a difference in other lives because, no matter how irrefutably insane I may be in my own mind, it’s not too late, it’s never too late.

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DreamALittleDreamOfMe said...
Dec. 16, 2011 at 9:29 am
This made me cry.
jkilmer said...
Dec. 16, 2011 at 12:18 am
I'm so sorry about your cousin, but your essay was beautiful. It made me tear up. I'm sure Valerie is watching you from heaven, increasingly proud. 
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