I’m so sorry I’m too late.
I’ve known you, I’ve seen you from afar, I’ve been friends with you, I’ve loved you, I’ve missed you and I’ve even been you. Yet somehow I couldn’t see the signs and the pain you were going through, even though it was right in front of my eyes— on my mind and in my heart. For this, I couldn’t be more sorry. I do need you to know that it was never intentional and it was never because I didn’t care, because I can assure you that I do care. I’m just sorry I never told you that I did.
Cared, I guess.
I suppose it feels strange talking in past tense, now. But this is where we are and I’ve been trying to wrap my head around how this could happen, even though I know how and why it did. I listened to your tapes and I’m fortunate that I’m not the subject of one of them. But that got me thinking, what if I had been? What if I could have been on someone’s— have I been on someone’s? I’ll never know, but it’s possible and knowing that it could be possible is something I’ll have to live with. Something I think we all have to live with. We’ve all hurt and have been hurt. It’s also a possibility that I could have made a series of tapes of my own. How fine that line can really be. Neither sinner nor saint, or sometimes both. We as humans are such imperfect and deeply flawed creatures, but we also make life as beautiful as it can be— you made life beautiful, Hannah. I wish I had gotten the chance to tell you that. I’m so sorry that I never did.
I wish I knew that you were going through this when it was happening. I wish that I could have come to you and told you how much better life gets. Sometimes I guess we can’t see what’s ahead of us, even if we know it exists somewhere out there. Somewhere out in the vast expanse that is our time on this planet. Something better has got to exist, right? Maybe it does for some and maybe it doesn’t for others. I need you to know that it will get better. You are such an intricately unique and beautiful person and I know the sky’s the limit for you. But there I go again, speaking as if you were still here. I’m heartbroken you’ll never experience the joys and beauty your life was destined for. The love you would have experienced. The memories you would have made— the memories we could have shared. I’m heartbroken. There is just so much more you could have been present for and a part of me is mad that you did this. I can’t hide my feelings anymore, even though I know you’ll never read this. I just wish you could have. I wish I wrote this, or something like this, before it was too late. I’m sorry I didn’t do that, Hannah.
I’m mad and I’m frustrated. How could you do this to those that cared about you. How could you make such a selfish decision that leaves this emptiness inside of us— inside of me. A hollow shell of a person that once was. A hollow shell of a better time, where things were brighter and more vibrant. I’m destroyed— lost in the darkness. I just want to rewind and help you. I want to rewind and make things better. I don’t know what to do, Hannah. I know in my heart you had no selfish intent, and me saying you did is in itself a selfish act. I’m just lost, and I feel alone. This loss I’m feeling could be the cause of my first tape. Losing you could be the cause of my first tape. You could be the cause of my first tape, Hannah. I wish I could talk to you— I need your help. I’m just sorry I wasn’t there to help you when you needed it.
We can so easily find ourselves tortured. Deep in our minds, in our hearts, and all the way down to our souls. I get it, I understand. I know the pain can eat away at everything we think we are— who we think we are. It can eat away at everything you are, like a wake of vultures. Suddenly, the pain is all we have left, and I know that pain, Hannah. I know that pain like I know the back of my hand. That very pain that has left me spinning in nothing but a dark room, held hostage by my own sadness and fears. But every room has a door, and I wish you could have found yours. Sometimes I don’t know if I’ll find mine. I worry that a time will come where it’s just me and my demons in that dark room, without a door and it terrifies me— I know it terrified you, too. Sometimes I just find myself wishing that time never mattered, that rooms without doors never mattered, and that life and pain never mattered. Does it? I don’t know. I guess I don’t have the answer to that. I do know that I lost you to you, and that hurts more than anything else. I’m sorry we’re both in so much pain, Hannah.
I guess this is life now— life without you.
You were so clearly broken. We broke you, and never tried putting the pieces back together. None of us did enough to help you and we could have— we should have. You were staring at me with the saddest eyes of loneliness, and I just didn’t do enough, I didn’t recognize it at the time. I keep wondering if we could have even done something to change the outcome, something different. The answer is wildly complicated, but yes, we could have. We could have listened harder and opened our eyes wider. We could have recognized the internal scars you were carrying with you. The scars that plagued your beautiful mind. We often look at scars like memories we’ve experienced. But they aren’t just memories, are they? No. They’re much more than that. They’re scars. Deep scars that have a lasting impact and often times we never heal from them entirely. Just like a physical scar, the ones where your body fails to heal itself fully— a lasting remnant of something we have to carry with us for eternity. These internal scars are much the same, and we can recognize them as much as the physical scars if we just looked a little harder. We can all look harder and try harder. We need to try harder. I just wish we tried harder for you— I’m so sorry that we didn’t.
You’re gone, and we could have helped, or at least tried. But we didn’t. We failed ourselves and we failed you. We all need to try harder, love harder and speak louder. We need to let our emotions and our feelings bleed out instead of our lives bleeding out in front of us, and when people do we need to comfort one another and help one another. We needed to help you, Hannah. We needed to help you while you were alone, sitting in that tub, in that dark room surrounded by your demons, we just needed to help you better. When the shadows fell you were alone and sad and heartbroken, like I am now. Like we all should be now. Goddamnit, why don’t we understand this yet. You were alone, Hannah. You entered this world warm, embraced by love and you left it cold, consumed by darkness. This is powerful, and this is painful— this is pain itself. This has to get better, somehow. We have to get better, somehow. I’m sorry it never got better for you.
I miss you, Hannah. I miss those that have been you. I miss those that I’ve loved, like you. I miss those that I knew, like you. I miss those that I cared about, like you. We are surrounded by those, like you, yet we do so little. I hope we can start making changes towards a better future. A better world, a better community to help people like you, Hannah— people like me. I hope these changes come before it’s too late— I need these changes, Hannah. I hope I’ll wake up and these changes will start to happen, that progress is being made. I hope it makes a difference for me, before I find myself in that dark room, surrounded by my demons, weightless in my bathtub. I’m sorry, but I need your help, Hannah— please help me.
With all my love,
Myself, and the rest of us.
If you are in need, help can be found here.