Megan’s birthday passed recently. I think about her often. Her passing struck from out of nowhere. Well not exactly nowhere. I think I saw it coming. That is something I’m still processing. When she passed, I think I was wise enough to know that when the grief came, I could dwell in it, or I could learn something from it and hopefully transform something out of it. There’s an appropriate amount of time to dwell in the grief. In fact, I think it’s not very human to avoid the grief. It comes naturally. It was tough. It still is.
She passed during the summer. My semester started a few months later. I dove right into my classes. I was very motivated to do good work for the school’s newspaper which I write for as a senior staff reporter. I did some really great work. I covered a few conferences and U.N. event.
There are bulletins all over the school with events posted weekly. I was walking to my desk one day, and passed a bulletin with a flyer for the a Suicide Prevention Conference. I went to my editor the same day to call dibs on that event. I knew this was my responsibility to give coverage to the event. I was thinking about Megan. At the Prevention Conference, I learned about “suicide clusters.” It often happens that when somebody is lost to suicide, people in their inner circle fall victim to suicide also. It happens in twos and threes. I didn’t want to be next. The Prevention Conference was my was to transform Megan’s loss.
I live in Provo now, but during the summer I was living in Salt Lake. I started spending time with my ex girlfriend. For me, it was this experience that testified our relationship as being more than just ex-partners — it was a deeper friendship. She was with my at my house one night. I don’t think we were doing anything exciting, but it has been our nature to spend time apart together.
Megan came to my mind, and in an instance, I just began to cry. She was gone. I was there with her. We were in the trenches together. I made it — she did not. It could just as easily been me. Jenn didn’t say anything, but we held each other and she was my shoulder to cry on. It didn’t matter what happened with us before, all that existed was then and there. And she was there for me in my time of grief. I confided in her, and that action was unconditional. I have the greatest respect for her. What an angel she was.
This is important. We need to have friends to be our support in times of need. I think it’s common for people to “shut out.” I do this sometimes also. It can be a toxic habit. We need to have those people who are close to us who we can open up to. Those who can lend a shoulder to cry on.