23  Apr
About A Girl…

It often takes us many years to develop and come to terms with a genuine understanding of ourselves, and why we are the way we are. In many cases it takes a lifetime. Although I am most certainly still deeply entrenched in a lifelong undertaking of enlightenment and self-discovery, I have also been somewhat touched by an epiphany of late: My first love took her own life, and that has left me irreparably marred.

Why would such a glaringly apparent tragedy take fifteen years to finally sink in? One can only guess really, as we all live in denial, subconsciously or otherwise, concerning many facets of our lives. In fact, even the most level-headed, well-adjusted individuals have their share of skeletons in the closet so to speak - We all do. The sooner we realize this the better off we all are. We are all flawed, often impetuous beings clambering for acceptance, understanding and perfection throughout the duration of our imperfect existence, regardless of the front or skin we may wear whilst facing the world. Despite this, we are, by and large, beautiful creatures capable of great things.

Although I have read and digested her suicide note many times, I will never fully understand, nor will anyone else I don’t think, why she chose to end her life at the tender age of sixteen. Worthy of mention was her reference to a phrase credited to Neil Young in the aforementioned letter, in that it is “…better to burn out than to fade away”. Is there perhaps some tragic truth in this; regardless of the age at which we pass on into the great unknown? My first love will never grow old, never endure the suffering of a chronic or terminal illness, never sort through the ordeal of divorce as approximately half of all married adults now do, etc. She will never know many of life’s hardships. However, she will also never again see a sunrise or sunset, hear a beautiful, euphonious piece of music, laugh at a good joke, etc…which is all the more tragic, because believe me, she was quite a joker.

I suppose the situation is somewhat akin to Peter Pan: Admired, beloved, and adept beyond her being, but she will never grow up. She will always be a young, vibrant, beautiful girl, and the envy of all of her friends at the time of that fateful April morning in 1995.

Exactly fifteen years to the day, so many thoughts run wistfully through my mind: She was so young. Next year she will be dead as long as she was alive - Sixteen years. Had she lived, she would even then be only thirty-two, still so very young. I still don’t know whether to cry at what we all lost, or laugh at the fleeting fun I will always remember. I really don’t. To be honest, I still don’t think I ever properly grieved for the end of my youth which blindsided me that day. Perhaps I never will.

I do know one thing though: It is definitely better to fade away, than to burn out in a blistering hypernova of raw emotion. Passing quietly into the night after the long and admirable life she would surely have lived would have left far less devastation in its wake. If it isn’t already known to all who read this, suicide is a permanent solution of sorts to temporary problems. It is therefore not an option. It is a selfish and thoughtless act in so many ways. But I cannot remain angry with a nihilistically temperamental teenager of the past. As mentioned, she never grew up. Think of the big fish you had to fry when you were sixteen. If you are reading this article, chances are you lived through it. You are also likely a better person for the lessons you learned, harsh as they may have been.

Ali, imagine what you could have done in time, when you had already made such a profound impact on the people in your life and you were just sixteen!

Sweet Sixteen…

Posted by August Donnelly, filed under . Date: April 23, 2010, 3:51 pm |

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