How I lost a friend

I was folding laundry yesterday afternoon, contemplating what to make myself for lunch when the phone rang. Caller ID informed me it was the number of a friend I had lost contact with some months ago despite my efforts to reach her.  I was so happy to that she had finally called, until that is I picked up the phone and heard her husband’s voice.

And I knew.

Before he even said anything, that my friend was gone. I even suspected that I knew how.  You see she was anorexic. I knew this even though she never told me she was. Her issues with food and how she looked were obvious to all who knew her. But here’s the kicker. She was beautiful, tone, and painfully nice.  But she was also secretly depressed. In the span of 4 years she lost her mother to colon cancer, her dear grandmother to old age, and her father to Parkinson’s.  I guess at some point she just gave up.

Despite her husbands best efforts to get her help (shrinks and hospitals) it was the hospice that finally accepted her. However, in her final week, even the feeding tube couldn’t replenish what she so desperately needed–a reason to live. She ended up starving to death right beside her grieving husband who wondered why he couldn’t have been enough for her.

My friend  had the biggest heart of anyone I’ve ever known, but in the end what she really needed was to have saved some of that love for herself.

Depression and eating disorders…and I officially hate you both.



3 thoughts on “How I lost a friend”

  1. To hear a story like this just breaks my heart. How many of us go through life wearing a mask, covering the pains that we are too afraid to share? People always balk at Depression as being an illness…but it is. A very real one.

    My heart goes out to the husband. I can only imagine the guilt that he will place on himself unfairly during this time. No one can be saved unless they want to be.

  2. I’m so sorry Danielle.
    As someone who has battled both of these diseases (and still do, because they never truly go away), I know how crucial it is to have loving support. I’m so so sorry your friend is gone. I know you would do anything to bring her back, but please don’t let thoughts like that get you down. I’m thinking of you and her family and friends so much, and hope you can all come through this stronger. You’re a good friend.

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