Always Remembering

I only listen to this song once a year, December 29th. It’s the only time I can listen to it and be ok to sit and cry hysterically. Eleven years later and tears still fall. My heart still hurts.

Tonight, just past midnight, I realized what date it was. I realized this around the same time I last talked to her, eleven years ago. It was just before midnight and we were talking about our plans to go shopping the next morning.

The next morning I got up. Got dressed. Got ready for the day, like I normally do. I signed online before leaving the house to head up to the mall and the message I received found me on the floor in the living room, sobbing hysterically, screaming unintelligibly, unable to move.

My precious, beautiful Caroline had killed herself overnight, just past midnight. She was only 16 years old.

I remember telling my mom on the phone. I had been alone in the house and was desperate for someone to be there. Someone to take the horrible pain away. It took me ten minutes to be understood. My mom screamed and dropped a bottle of something or other and abandonned her shopping cart in the middle of Stop N Shop.

Everyone loved Caroline, she was a shining spirit and when the depression hit it knocked her off her feet, but that didn’t stop the caring. The love she had for everyone and everything. She always put her friends and family first, even her little sister who drove her nuts sometimes.

She would joke about how she wanted to get a nose job until one day on Oprah, she saw an Indian princess (she was adopted from Colombia) with the same nose as her own. She began announcing how she had a regal nose and no one was going to take that away from her.

I highlighted her hair one summer on her porch, in a three hour attempt that didn’t go as well as planned. We made pudding and failed at that too, burning it and I can no longer eat vanilla pudding because of the smell and taste. We would lie in her twin bed during sleep overs watching midnight showings of the Rocky Horror Picture Show, our hips knocking as we danced along to the time warp.

Angel was played at her funeral. The week leading up to it was hard; I went to grief counseling at her church, went to friends houses just so I wouldn’t have to be alone. My parents would check on me every night and morning while I “slept.”

A year to the date after she died, a year filled with heartache and pain and friendships lost, I went to sleep. I dreamt that I was picking her up from the airport. It was so vivid, I still remember it to this day in painful detail. She greeted me as she was prone to: a running hug that would practically tackle me to the ground. Still in a half hug she told me how she was happy to see me, she’d been having so much fun and that we had so much to catch up on. Whatever we did during the course of my dream didn’t matter. She told me she was happy. At the end of the dream I dropped her back off at the airport and we hugged goodbye. She told me not to worry about her. I woke up hysterically crying.

You’re in the arms of the angel now, may you have found comfort there.

Love and miss you every day.

July 7, 1982 – December 29, 1998

22 Responses

  1. Tears, streaming.
    The love you have your friend then and now really shines through in this post. I can’t imagine how difficult it must have been then…and even now.
    Beautifully written.

  2. Beautiful post filled with so much love and sadness.

  3. I, too, lost a friend in 1998. While it wasn’t to suicide, of course it was still painful, especially because she was so young (16 as well).

    It’s comforting to still have all those happy memories, though.


  4. i can’t imagine how hard it was to go through something like this SO young. i know it still hurts honey, but this post was so beautiful. she is lucky to have a friend in you.

  5. beautifully written. it’s hard to lose someone regardless of the situation but when it’s unexpected i think the impact is harder. may the loving memories chase away some of the pain.

  6. Poor baby….

    What a beautiful post.

  7. wow, what a beautiful tribute.

  8. I, too, lost a friend four years ago next Friday. Like you, I also had a dream shortly after where she came to me and told me not to worry. It helped somewhat but the pain never went away.

    “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” is my “Angel.”

    My thoughts are with you.

  9. This is a beautiful tribute. May she live on in everyone who was touched by her life.

    My heart goes out to you today, girl.

    Much love and many hugs.


  10. I couldn’t comment last night when I read this because I was crying too hard and couldn’t find any words. And now I’m crying all over again. You are an amazing friend.

  11. great post. Hope youre ok over there.

  12. wow, what an incredibly powerful post. I still have goosebumps. I’m so sorry for your loss of a beautiful friend. She would surely be proud of this well worded tribute to her. May your day be filled with peace and comfort.

  13. This is such a powerful post. So sorry for your loss.

  14. This song resonates with me as well, having lost a friend that year and hearing it at his funeral. Sending you hugs and warm thoughts on this sad day.

  15. oh my.. this totally gave me chills! i think of that song too when I’ve lost someone. so hard.

    many hugs to you…

  16. Jeez…hang in there.

  17. This was beautifully written and really touched my heart. Thanks for sharing and I hope this day hasn’t been to unkind to you.

  18. Wow. This is so touching and so very sad. *hugs* I love this song, and now whenever I sing it at karaoke I’m going to think of you.

  19. This post is so touching. It gave me goosebumps. Especially that dream you had. So sad but so special.
    I’m sorry for your loss. I too have lost young friends in the past and I know it isn’t easy.

  20. Oh my… I’m so sorry for your loss. Your post was beautiful. Hugs to you my friend…

  21. Wow, I’m not sure I could hold it together if one of my kids died. Just reading about your loss hurts my heart immensely.

    It’s good to share her memory.

  22. This was such a wonderful tribute to your friend. I was tearing up the whole time I was reading it, especially at the part about your dream. It’s so hard to lose someone close to you, especially when you were both so young.

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