The following is a wilfully artless piece of writing. I don’t often create those, but if you’re going to judge that, go away now. If you’ve lost a loved one and understand writing through the grief, carry on.
This is a goodbye from me, to my friend, who took her own life last weekend, on the 12th of January. Sometimes we need to create for the sake of connecting, and this is all I’ve done here. Maybe one day I’ll say it better. Right now, I’m feeling very sad. I’m thinking of her family, who lost a beautiful daughter, sister and mother that day, and remembering our friendship. That’s all.
My friend never fully accepted her place on “the goddess list”: a list of women we admired, first written down in our late teens. The original Goddess List was all her idea. She was always on mine, and I was always on hers. We even joked about it again in recent years; it was something neither of us had forgotten. Tara, I hope you’re somewhere where you’re able to accept it now.
The Goddess List
You didn’t want to age gracefully,
Rising wise from youth, like Audrey.
Like Sylvia, you got out: refused to grow
Old at all. And even though from our youth I know
Bettie was the original alternative model,
You could’ve held your own in burlesque halls.
You insisted I was the Winona Ryder one,
While I envied your steel sharp Dorothy Parker tongue.
No one would dare to tell you to “pipe down”.
But you couldn’t shake the bad ones, kept them around:
Like Marilyn, fragile and childlike, not seeing
Your own worth as a person, that just by being
Who you were, you brought light to life.
You had a spark, but damped it down inside.
Now I’ve sat here writing sorry lines awhile –
So dreadful that I hope they’d make you smile
If you could see them from where you are.
They say when people die they shine like stars
Or angels, who can watch us from above.
I don’t know about those things, but I know love
For friends who simply knew they’d had enough.
The ones who only saw that life was tough,
And not the beauty in themselves, and in the world.
You’ll always top my Goddess List, lovely girl.