Saartije

If she were here, she'd probably correct me because I probably got the dutch diminutive of her name wrong. However, she never faulted me for being American; she never thought I was a fat, stupid, lazy Yank but her contemporary, her friend. She was honest and encouraging and she believed I could do anything because she knew I was intelligent with a knack for words and writing. She often envied that I had a way with them because English wasn't her first language, but I envied her more because what was being faulty at one language when she could speak at least 5 or 6 and probably learn more? She literally was the most intelligent person I knew with an IQ clocking in at least 150s or higher... of course she also had Autism Spectrum so with a blessing came a curse.

Thing is I didn't even care, she was just like everyone else to me even when she did have her moments, I still cared. Our friendship was also a milestone in my life..I guess you could call it a milestone or no big deal. I always had trouble maintaining friendships with the same sex- not because I hate other women, but because seemed like some women I met were about make up, dressing up and hunting guys. Me and her talked about those too, sometimes but it was a relief to speak with a girl who was atypical as me and had similar things happen to her too when she was a child and teenager. I wasn't ever raped by a ********* neighbor but I was sexually molested by a family member, so she understood was it was like to be angry, afraid and broken. We also came from separated/divorced households and we were both "problem children and teenagers". Lastly, we both knew what it was like to try to fit in and be more socially accepted; her journey was more painful than mines. As anyone know about AS, some children have to be taught how to keep their restlessness, lack of emotion, lack of filter, hyperstimulation and extreme need for routine under control to integrate into society and become functioning adults. She excelled..multilingual, very good at Akido, accomplished pianist, composer and painter, great cook, owned her own house and was working on her phd in art history while teaching high school and working at a fine arts museum. Knowing her she'd probably quip "I sound like a maxi pad commercial!"

To me she was just Sarah, my friend with the most wicked sense of humor I ever encountered and no different from any other girl I knew. We were apart of a forum...to be honest, a forum on an adult dating site which is a quirky way to meet a best friend but there you have it. Anyway for the crappy place it was, we brought an interesting time there, us two me and her being a powerhouse of wit and snark eating trolls and the ignorant alive time and again. Sometimes I had to wonder why some one like herself was languishing away at such a place? It was partly to get over her fear of sexual intimacy which I all too understood, and to meet people, which I'm glad she did. Because of her, she made it worth while logging into that online cesspool or waking up to find an epic email in our back and forth color coded font in my gmail inbox.

Now that shes been gone, sometimes I find it hard to cope every now and again- not because her online presence is lacking, because when she was alive, she'd always take a break from the madness of the internet or when summer break came around, she and her daughter would vacation in some tiny hamlet in a nearby country where there wasn't wi-fi nearby. I'd get an email from her checking up on me despite her time away, but now...

Its been 7 months since she died, and that can be enough time to get over someone if you didn't give a damn but its hard, and besides only re-reading selected emails we sent to one another over a period of 2 years, I haven't really cared much about my gmail except to delete spam from political groups. Hell, it took my awhile to delete her email address at yahoo where we first started replying. When I first got the news I just thought it was a sick prank but despite her love for a good gotcha, she really was gone..this was no gotcha, although I sat at the website where we first met all day and night waiting for her to come back, because who could believe someone that young(27) could be gone? People die all the time and sometimes younger than her but not my friend, goddammit. Goddamnit, no.

Even today, I'm still saying those words.."goddammnit, no" in incredulity because 'why my friend??' When I'm dealing with an old lover who falling into a downward spiral, another friend who always so close to a mental break, my family fighting, my ailing mother, my estranged sometimes homeless father..I have to scream at the sky where I think a god would be and ask them "Why?" I have friends and they have been good to me, but ever met some one who really understood where you were coming from, and if not would try their damnedest? That was her.

I'm not all that hopeless like I seem, but she really was one of a kind. As sad as me describing the actual events leading up to her untimely demise and the funeral service itself is an example of how interesting she was. For so many setbacks in her life, she never wanted to relinquish control of it by no one or nothing, but that fateful night she had an almost fatal allergic reaction, something in her changed. She seemed fine, but knowing she couldn't enjoy the simplest pleasure of eating without worrying she'd literally die depressed her- it was a kink in her need for routine and probably some sort of defeat for someone who fought all her life..somewhere she just gave out inside. Whether it was accidentally, purposely or just sick destiny still haunts me to this very day but the day she died, she used her own epipen to save the life of a little child who was suffering from a bee sting reaction according to her young daughter. That was the last one, she never replaced it. Later on she was found dead from a heart attack or asphyxiation in the parking lot of the grocery store.

Since she was very private, we(me and the friends she made at the website) only received updates about everything from a friend and co-worker of hers in Amsterdam. He attended her funeral and gave us a detailed account of the service which cemented the heartbreaking fact she really was gone. The flowers were white, and her casket was white too which was scribbled on with goodbyes from friends, family and the children she taught as her piano works played with pictures of her on a large monitor in the background. It was a nondenominational service as she was an Atheist. As sort of a parting gift, copies of her favorite book, Exupery's The Little Prince were given to her students. This was hard to write, but her little girl was a mess, because who has the heart to tell that baby girl her mom wasn't coming back? She was in hysterics so they let her sleep on top of her mother's casket until it was time for her to be transported to the cemetery to which the little girl wouldn't let go. That part destroyed me then and its hard to picture it, still.

I know there's no such thing as heaven, we has human being tend to make such things up to comfort ourselves from traumatizing events but I with her I never picture clouds, harps and light. When I was going through our old emails to one another I found one with a picture of her on vacation; she was with her Nikon taking pictures out in the Belgian countryside, her bright red hair in a ponytail as she always had it. That's where she will always be to me- somewhere peaceful, away from the noise, sadness and problems, forever immortal.
Lov3intheasylum Lov3intheasylum
31-35, F
1 Response Dec 9, 2012

7 months is not long.. don't worry about not feeling 'better' yet. I lost a close friend nearly four years ago, she was 31, and it took me a lot longer than 7 months to get back the feeling I was in control of my life, and every year around her birthday and the day the died, I still feel depressed. Death is hardest on the survivors. Take care... and remember, it's Saartje, with the 'i' ;)

I never got the hang of dutch even though its pretty close to my language in some respects. Some days are fine, some not so much when something bad is going down and I need a nonjudgemental person to talk to and I remember she isnt with us anymore :( I'm sorry about your friend too- it sucks when anyone we cared about passes on. I hope you were able to say goodbye, I never got the chance to do that or tell her how much she meant. I'm sure she knew...