Dying Rose

There are few things worse than hearing your friend is suicidal. This is the second friend I have who in the last month has seriously considered ending their life. My first friend Maddy went to the hospital. She’s okay now. However, my other friend, my friend back home, Rose, just got broken up with. She texted me immediately after it happened. Right when I saw the text, I called her. Through sobs, she told me what happened and in an avalanche of confessions, even admitted to me that she cut herself in eighth grade. I asked if she felt better or worse now. “Worse,” she said lowly. Immediately, I ran to a trash can; I felt like I was gonna throw up. “Rose… I… I had no idea I—”

I took a second to collect myself before saying all I could think of saying, “I’m so sorry, Rose. You know you can always tell me anything. I’m always a resource.”

Silence.

“Rose, you should really consider seeing a counselor.”

“No.”

“Why not?”

“I can’t.”

Silence. I couldn’t take it. I went on in a polite way trying my best to convince her to see a counselor. She just listened. After about an hour I stopped talking and tried again. "You’ll at least try seeing a counselor Rose, right?”

“No.”

“Please?” 

“Maybe.”

And that’s what we ended that chat on. Maybe. But this whole week has been sporadic conversations that start with her texting me something concerning like, “I feel like I’m gonna pass out” or “I’m not eating” or “My eyes black out every time I stand up.” 

I’ll call, address what she said, recommending once again that she should see a counselor. She’ll answer and say nothing. Then I’ll ask how her day was. “Bad” or a sarcastic “decent” are her go-to responses. The rest of the conversation is me talking about my day, trying to make her laugh, think, smile, anything that will get her mind off of her situation. I wasn’t sure how much help I was until after our second conversation she texted me, “Thanks for talking to me u keep me from crying lol.” From anyone else, this would be insignificant, but from Rose? Deep. Loving. Real. Because she never shows care for loved ones verbally. Therefore, I took note of this and now call her every day for at least an hour. It’s only been four days, though it’s felt like a month, but I have noticed some progress. And as this situation continues to resolve itself with care and time, I can’t wait to see Rose flourish once again; she deserves only the best, and I, her friend, am trying to give that to her. She is in no way close to being herself once again, but I hold onto an image of all of us laughing together in my basement, playing our favorite game, Jackbox. Prank calling people for an hour on the phone, pretending to be crazy neighbors who needed a lawnmower or having wild dance parties to her favorite songs at the time — “Sweet but Psycho,” “Pony,”  “Chandelier” — in her room. In those moments, she was happy, and we? We were invincible. And that's what depression and anxiety and these intense feelings of despair have taken away from my friend group: a durable ecstasy. That’s what I am trying to get back, and until Rose is better, unfortunately I’m not sure I’ll feel that again.

However, ironically, a number of weeks ago, before all this hit the fan, I wrote a poem about her and how she was thriving. I want to see her back in that place. So, this poem is what I hope Rose can be and feel once again, because if that happens, the world is not only hers, it’s ours.

 

Dying Rose

 

I have seen her,

 

 since meeting him, 

 

bloom and introduce every pedal of her personality

 

A humble explosion of color 

 

And, as she blossoms, 

 

Our relationship also ripens 

 

In a garden that is all our own

 

No him, 

 

No her

 

No me

 

Just us 

 

And in those moments, my world withers, but our minds intertwine and flourish

 

In a wild, colorful mess.