“She’s not doing well, not at all,” my mother told me on the phone the other day.
“Yes, that’s why they decided to put her in the hospice. They just want her to be as comfortable as possible.”
I swallowed the lump that had suddenly formed in my throat.
“So, she doesn’t have much of a chance, does she?”
“No. Once your liver is shot, you’re pretty much out of luck.”
She’s only 43. I have never met her, but my mom has told me so much about her these last few months that I feel like I do. Her name is Karen, the daughter of a lovely couple whom my mother is close friends with. Like me, she suffers from depression. She has also been an alcoholic for an extremely long time, her weapon of choice to fight off her demons.
I remember the day my mom told me the news. Karen was drunk that particular evening and had possession of a gun. I don’t know what kind it was, I don’t know much about them, but it hardly matters.
Anyways, she decided to commit suicide. She put the gun in her mouth and fired.
Instead of killing herself, however, she ended up blowing her jaw off. The damage was extensive and it took many surgeries to try and fix what had been so quickly destroyed.
My heart instantly went out to her and I felt so incredibly sad. Because I understood what had made her do it. That feeling is hard to describe to someone who has never been in that dark place before, when life seems to hold no more hope or purpose anymore.
Death feels like a welcome friend instead of a sworn enemy.
I wanted to visit her, but my mom didn’t like the idea. But I continued to inquire about her.
She had been staying with her stressed out parents, but was eventually able to get her own apartment. I guess this is when things started taking a turn for the worse. She began drinking again, mixing her pain medications with the alcohol and then stopped eating.
She weighs next to nothing now. She has literally starved and drank herself to the brink of death.
She means to finish her business, one way or another.
I think that when she does go, I will cry. I don’t know her personally, but that hardly matters.
Karen, I am so sorry, sweetie.