That is most of a name of a TV rendition of a youth novel that my kids (and G) listened to on audio book a number of years ago. Both girls, remembering the book, decided to start watching it.
I made the mistake of watching along midway through the episodes on Netflix.
The basic premise: a 17-year-old girl commits suicide. Before does it, she records 12 tapes. Each addresses a particular person who was part of the reason why she decided to commit suicide. Some start out as your typical teenage bullshit. But it escalates. It escalates to her witnessing a rape. It escalates to her witnessing a seemingly minor accident that results in a major accident, in which, her classmate dies. It even progresses through her family life issue into her own rape.
Each of those that are part of the journey gets the tapes and has to listen. They have to listen to her tapes explaining what happened – explaining “the why”. The main character is a boy who she loved – but the weight of all of the other shit caused her to push him away.
In an amazing scene, he listens to his tape. He listens to how the night between them went down, how it triggered her to push him away, and how she wished he had ignored her wishes and stayed with her instead of leaving (which was her wish). The reality was, he left. He left because he respected her. He left because he was scared of harming her. He left because he trusted her word.
But then, after she had killed herself and he listened to her tape, he wished he would have stayed. He stood there on the cliff overlooking the city and shouted what he wished he would have said to hear – and what he would have done. He believed that would have saved her – and him – from this pain of her being gone.
I watched that scene and cried.
I cried for all that has happened over the last 7-8 years.
I cried for the number of times that I respected what was said while the inside of me screamed “no”.
I cried for the words I wish I had said. I cried for the fights I wish I had launched, but instead opted to honor the words of the person talking to me. I gave space while holding space. I believed the words while wishing I could say “fuck the words”. I silently accepted the feelings of others while disregarding my own.
Listening and watching this story, I am reminded of how we are all interconnected. I am reminded that life is too fucking short to let people who matter get away. I am reminded that life is a series of what-ifs and wishes for second chances.
No, I’m not considering killing myself. I feel the need to mention this not because what I say is giving that impression but that is the story line in the show.
My storyline is wondering – what are the 13 things I wish I could have said – could have done – to make life different.
I still don’t know what they are.
I guess I believe in too much free will to believe that anything I could have said or done differently would have mattered.
That both makes me feel better and makes me cry at the same time.
Because, as anyone that knows me knows, I believe our fates are our own. I believe we can mold them. I believe that just because we came from one place that we don’t need to end up in another. I do believe that love can heal all wounds. I do believe that if people believe in you that you can be happy – you can find your way – you can not die alone.
I also know that is not true. A friend committed suicide a number of years ago. He and I connected. He shared but assured me all was well. He was plenty loved – plenty of people cheering for him to do well in life. Yet he still chose to end it.
My biggest fear.
That someone I love will pass beyond the veil – and I won’t find out. Not because I don’t care, but because they don’t believe I care as much as I do – or anyone would care.
Yes, I’m rambling. But it struck a very sore nerve. It struck some fears too. It brought the pain back to the surface.
All I know is that I love many people. I miss them from my life more than they probably would ever know. None of that has changed nor will it ever. I just have held my tongue and my words too long to know how to let them know.