A year ago today

March 28, 2011. That was the day they told us Maggie killed herself. Here I am a year later: I survived. I survived these 365 days of remembering. We weren't super close, but my school is small and she was just a year older than me. I'd always looked up to her, idolized her in a way. She was just so unique, confident, funny, smart, stylish... Some day I hoped to be as comfortable in my skin as she was in hers. I never knew her hidden pain.

Until the email. "We're saddened to inform you that Maggie has died." I had to read it again and again. Even now it doesn't make sense. How could this vibrant, magical, one-of-a-kind girl be gone? How could she have taken her own life? My emotions were a pendulum, oscillating between devastation, horror, anger, and, worst of all, shame. I was paralyzed.

The small part of my brain that could still function replayed all of our interactions in my head. Although we'd only talked ten or so times, I can remember all of them perfectly. That's just the kind of person she was: everything was worth remebering. Even before she died, I treasured those memories. I wanted so desperately for her to think I was cool, to be my friend. So when I found out... I fell apart.

I searched for clues in my memories, hints of her depression. I don't think I knew her well enough to have ever seen that side of her, though. I thought back to the time we'd laughed about cereal, the time she'd told me her list of life philosophies, and hoped that if I'd seemed choppy, she'd realized it was because I was so intimidated by her, because I wanted to be her.

Looking back, I wish I'd spent less time fantazing and more time actually with her, because she was an amazing girl. Also, and this sounds selfish, incredibly selfish, but if we were closer friends, I would've had more of an "excuse" to be sad. As it was, I felt embarrassed of my sadness, of how much this death had affected me. I felt like I didn't deserve to feel sad, because there were other people who had loved her so much more. In a contest of who loved her more, I would lose every time.

So I tried to hide my emotions. I tried not to cry openly, even though everyone was crying those next few days. It was so hard though: March 29, we had several assemblies, at the last of which they officially told us that she had taken her own life. I already knew, but I watched my friends who hadn't known collapse like broken puppets. I felt empty.

I still feel empty sometimes. A lot of the time. But I also still feel like I don't deserve to feel this way. I cry privately. I mourn the girl I hardly knew alone.

I think about death all the time. I think about Maggie all the time. I don't know what to do. I wish this was all different. I wish she was here. I just don't understand. This has been the hardest year of my life. I thought it would be easier by now. I guess you never "get over it".

Maggie, you were perfect. I'm sorry you had to do this. I'm sorry this was the only way for you to feel peace. I don't believe in heaven but I hope you're there, watching. And I'm sorry if this sounds mean, but I hope you regret it and I hope you realize how much you put us all through. When I'm sitting on my shower floor crying I want to slap you for being so SELFISH. I try to remind myself of depression, and chemical imbalances, and whatever you might've been going through, but I can't understand. You should've stuck around. We needed you. We still need you.

We miss you.

We always will.

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