Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Rest in peace, my friend

About six years ago, Kathleen and I were lamenting the fact that we didn't have a close group of women friends to hang out and kibbitz with. She had met a woman (Michelle) at a continuing legal education seminar -- they were both in the vegetarian line for lunch and began chatting -- and thought it would be cool to gather a group of fun, smart women to do regular "girls' night" outings. I'm not sure who had the idea originally (whether it was Michelle or Kathleen, or something they came up with together). So we did it. Kathleen brought me in, I invited my friend Karen, Michelle brought Kristin and Mindy, etc. I think our first event was bowling. Our second was a hockey game, which ended up being hilarious because Michelle, Kristin and I ended up participating in an on-ice competition during one of the intermissions in which we raced to win a $100 gift certificate for Sports Authority (I won).

Over the past six years, the group (there are 9 of us, by my count -- Kathleen, me, Karen, Michelle L., Michelle S., Michele H., Judy, Mindy and Kristin) has stuck together. We've been in each others' weddings, babysat each others' babies, watched each others' dogs, listened to each other bitch, held each others' hands, and dried each others' tears. We get together regularly for dinner, parties, movies, bike rides, and walks. We ran 10Ks, half-marathons, marathons and triathlons, cheering each other on and pulling each other along the whole way.

I've never had a support group like this. There is nothing that any of us goes through alone. Every one of us has gone through a time when we were held up by the others when we couldn't quite hold up on our own. This group of women is the single reason that I'm anything less that 100% psyched about moving to Hawaii. The prospect of life far away from them feels very lonely.

Yesterday, we lost one of our own. Our friend Kristin, who had recently moved up to New Jersey to be with her fiance, took her own life, for reasons that none of us can comprehend.

Kristin was one of the kindest, most generous people I ever knew. She was an immigration lawyer, and utterly devoted to helping her clients. She would do anything for a friend. If you needed a ride to the airport, a dog-sitter, a drinking buddy, whatever -- she was there. She and I were frequent movie and opera buddies and shared books all the time. She was one of the huppah-holders at my wedding. She and Michelle L. and I did the Chattanooga Half Marathon together this past spring, and when I had a horrid day in the race -- exhaustion, dehydration -- she and Michelle came back to find me after they had finished and ran the last mile in with me. The last time I saw her, she was in town to close on the sale of her house in September or October, and she and Jason and I went for ice cream and had a great time laughing and shooting the shit.

Of course, we are all heartbroken and shocked. I feel awful for her parents, with whom she was very close, for her fiance, who is a lovely guy, but mostly for her. It kills me that she felt that her problems were so bad that there was no other way out but to die.

The girls are all rallying together. We're going to try to get together soon and try to process this. It's so surreal. I don't know what to think or to say or to do.

Rest in peace, Kristin. We loved you and will cherish your memory.

1 comment:

  1. Yana Jermisko2:25 PM

    Hello Wendy,
    My name is Yana. I live in Orlando, FL. I am a mother of a little 6 and a half month old girl. She is my first child. After 5 miscarriages. I went to your blog by chance. I am trying to start my own business online and was recommended to go thru some blogs, you were the second one I hit after hitting "next blog". I am sorry about your friend Kristen. I see that she was a great person, but I also might understand her. I tried commiting suicide 3 times. I wasn't thing about anyone just me. I was very lonely. But Kristen doesn't seem to be lonely, she has great frineds like you and the girls that you hang out with. I hope that she will be forgiven up above.
    Also I am very happy that you have found friends like the ones that you have. I don't have too many. I am most of the time alone because I have a problem finding someone to sit with my girl and I am not ready to do that either. LOL
    Anyway, I was wondering if I could be your e-mail buddy. You see like a great person. I hope you sell the house and have fun going to Hawaii. My e-mail is