August 20, 2009

Me and Maddi

Today I got to hang out with an amazing person and friend. Her name is Madison (aka Maddi) and she is the little sister of my friend Paige who passed away from cancer on November 6, 2006.

I don't know if she will ever understand how amazing she is and what a great person she is and just what sort of impact she has made on my life. Today was a great example of just how great she is.

I drove out to her house to pick her up (she lives about a half hour drive away) and when I got there her mom answered the door along with Maddi. I came in and sat on the couch with them and we talked about school and future plans for a while. I just love to be around Sherry and Maddi, they are amazing people and being around them just makes me so happy. But also being around them makes me remember and miss Paige. Today as we were sitting there and talking Sherry broke down and was crying because she says that I remind her so much of Paige when I am around. I reached over and hugged her and she told me that she is so happy that I come by and hang out with them both. I sat there and hugged her and she apologized for being emotional and I told her there was no need to apologize. We sat and chatted for a little while more and then Maddi and I left to go hang out just the two of us.

We got to starbucks and after we got our drinks we sat down in two very comfortable chairs. Then we just started to chat. We talked about the cruise she is going on with her dad which she is leaving for soon, how she is looking forward to next year and the stuff she is doing over the summer with her friends. It was really great just to sit and chat with her. I love doing that but I wish I got to do it more often than I do. At one point we started talking about Paige. We both miss her a lot and it is really nice for us to be able to remember her together and talk about her with someone else who knew her. One thing that Maddi mentioned really was amazing for me. She talked about how there is this inner struggle with remembering Paige. As time goes on since her death (it will be three years this november) we start to forget things about her. In some ways this is nice because she is not constantly on our minds and we can get other things done and just sort of move on but in other ways it is really hard because we feel bad for forgetting, we feel as though we are horrible that we are forgetting someone that was such a pivotal person in our lives. I think this is something I was really struggling with back in the end of last winter when I started self-harming again. Another thing we discussed was how wierd it is to have someone be such a huge part of our lives and then become a huge part of who we are and then go somewhere else where people don't know about that part of us. When I started at College I started a whole new part of my life. One where people didn't know who I was and what sort of things I had been through. It is nice because people don't define you by certain parts of your life. But it is hard for the same reason, people don't understand that part of my life and it is a huge part of who I am. How can I have honest friendships when people don't know about that part of my life, that part of who I am.

I am both more confused and less confused after hanging out with Maddi today. I am able to understand things in more detail but I am still at a loss for how to fix or share to help others understand.

I think I am going to try to join the grief support group next year at school. I also have a new-found desire to start a support group for people struggling with self-harm. I think I might want to make it even broader though. I want to make it include struggle with more than just cutting, perhaps expand it to include people struggling with any mental illness. I don't know how this sort of thing will get started but we'll see how it goes next year.

Emmy R.

PS I leave for college on the 29th already! Yikes!

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