I only listen to this song once a year, December 29th. It’s the only time I can listen to it and be ok to sit and cry hysterically. Eleven years later and tears still fall. My heart still hurts.
Tonight, just past midnight, I realized what date it was. I realized this around the same time I last talked to her, eleven years ago. It was just before midnight and we were talking about our plans to go shopping the next morning.
The next morning I got up. Got dressed. Got ready for the day, like I normally do. I signed online before leaving the house to head up to the mall and the message I received found me on the floor in the living room, sobbing hysterically, screaming unintelligibly, unable to move.
My precious, beautiful Caroline had killed herself overnight, just past midnight. She was only 16 years old.
I remember telling my mom on the phone. I had been alone in the house and was desperate for someone to be there. Someone to take the horrible pain away. It took me ten minutes to be understood. My mom screamed and dropped a bottle of something or other and abandonned her shopping cart in the middle of Stop N Shop.
Everyone loved Caroline, she was a shining spirit and when the depression hit it knocked her off her feet, but that didn’t stop the caring. The love she had for everyone and everything. She always put her friends and family first, even her little sister who drove her nuts sometimes.
She would joke about how she wanted to get a nose job until one day on Oprah, she saw an Indian princess (she was adopted from Colombia) with the same nose as her own. She began announcing how she had a regal nose and no one was going to take that away from her.
I highlighted her hair one summer on her porch, in a three hour attempt that didn’t go as well as planned. We made pudding and failed at that too, burning it and I can no longer eat vanilla pudding because of the smell and taste. We would lie in her twin bed during sleep overs watching midnight showings of the Rocky Horror Picture Show, our hips knocking as we danced along to the time warp.
Angel was played at her funeral. The week leading up to it was hard; I went to grief counseling at her church, went to friends houses just so I wouldn’t have to be alone. My parents would check on me every night and morning while I “slept.”
A year to the date after she died, a year filled with heartache and pain and friendships lost, I went to sleep. I dreamt that I was picking her up from the airport. It was so vivid, I still remember it to this day in painful detail. She greeted me as she was prone to: a running hug that would practically tackle me to the ground. Still in a half hug she told me how she was happy to see me, she’d been having so much fun and that we had so much to catch up on. Whatever we did during the course of my dream didn’t matter. She told me she was happy. At the end of the dream I dropped her back off at the airport and we hugged goodbye. She told me not to worry about her. I woke up hysterically crying.
You’re in the arms of the angel now, may you have found comfort there.
Love and miss you every day.
July 7, 1982 – December 29, 1998