Samantha soon warned me that in the not-so-distant future, she would possibly not be in contact with me for a few days, and I accepted it, because I loved her, and I knew it was something she had to do. She ended up breaking her promise, and I got to see her pretty much every day up until a 48 hour stretch (or so) where I didn’t hear from her. When I finally heard back from her, she revealed that she took a bottle of pills, intending to end her life, and that she woke up feeling groggy, and regretful, but thankfully still alive, and then she picked up the phone to call me. She apologized, but I was kind of numb. I didn’t know what to really think, and I was scared. I knew she wasn’t leaving me specifically, and that our love was strong, but it’s not an easy task trying to cope with the thought of the most important person in your life thinking about disappearing, and not giving you fair warning first. She had been planning this from before she met me, I soon found out, and this was part of the reason why it took her so long to approach me, as she was worried about bringing me into all of this. But we dealt with it, as people who love each other do.
For the next few days, I still saw her pretty regularly, but now she was determined to go on a trip to the neighbor islands. Due to financial reasons, I was unable to accompany her, and I was once again terrified that I would lose her. Just being away from her for a day or two at this point was very hard, as things seemed a lot more serious and fragile than I had realized. I trusted that she just needed to get away for a few days, but in the back of my head, I knew anything was possible.
When she returned from the trip, we still saw each other pretty regularly, but I felt an uneasiness with her from time to time, but as the days passed, I felt her happy side coming out again, and we were the kind of couple that was always inseparable, as long as we were physically with each other. It was the time away that scared me. I never doubted anything when I was face to face with her, although I often worried about her nonetheless, just because, you know, I wanted her to be “okay”, whatever that means.
Over the next few days, Samantha was talking about getting a new job, and seemed to be readjusting to life on the island quite well, after all the recent trauma, uncertainty and adventure in her life. I remember her visiting me at work one day, which she was known to do from time to time, and dropping off some of my books, while saying she was considering getting a job with the company. I thought this was promising news, and I talked to her on the phone later that night before bed, to gab about our usual sweet nothings. By the time Monday had rolled around, I hadn’t heard back from Samantha. This was very out of the ordinary, even after the last episode. Every horrible thought you could think of was in my brain at this time, and I was sick to my stomach around the clock.
It’s a common misconception that someone who hurts so much, and lives with so much depression, is incapable of loving another human being. Actually, I don’t really know if that’s a common misconception, but I must say that it is something I worried about upon getting involved with Samantha. But she shattered that misconception almost overnight with her patience, her generosity, and well, her love, of course. Calling it “love” sounds so minimal, though. It’s that certain thing that can’t be explained, but is something you feel every time that special someone looks at you, touches you, or says something to you in that perfect way–a way that you’ve never heard it, felt it, or experienced it before–not in a way that’s meant to slight any past loves, but sometimes someone just gets you the way nobody else does, and something about you just clicks with them, and you seem them the way nobody else does–and that’s when what seems like a once a generation type love forms between two people. As much of a mess the world can be at times, it can really be a miracle, too.
Samantha would often apologize for bringing me into her world, and felt bad that she had subjected me to her pain, but the only thing I wish she had done differently–other than survive, naturally–is introduce herself sooner, because once I met her, loving her with all of me was inevitable. Maybe she knew that, too, and that probably was overwhelming for her, but the fact is I know my love made her last few months on this planet more manageable. I have the memories, and the emails, and the warmth in my heart to tell me that, and nothing could ever change what we had together as a couple.
There was never any issue between us in that way. We were perfect friends, a perfect team, perfect lovers, and we just fit together like two forgotten puzzle pieces. The life that her and I shared together is something I wouldn’t trade for anything in the world, except for more time with her, and I am so honored that she had the strength to approach me, even though much of what was inside of her told her not to. I told her all the time how lucky, fortunate, and honored I was, and she was always so sweet to tell me how much I meant to her, even on her darkest days, and she also made me feel so sexy and handsome, even though I often don’t feel like either one of those things. When I was around her, I had no doubt that I was those things, and that’s what love is, folks.
As far as her suicide goes, I don’t blame her. I often curse the universe for leaving me behind with this massive hole in my heart, but I never, even for a second, imagined being upset with her about what she did. The way I look at it, it wasn’t my thing to be upset with anyway. This was Samantha’s cross to bear. This was something she had to deal with. Sure, in many ways, I had to deal with it, too, but while I have struggled with a bit of depression, I never had to deal with that weight of it the way she had to, and I can’t imagine how hard it was for her to even breathe when it got really bad, so how could I ever be upset with someone who chose to love me, and open up to me, and give me all of her time, when she could have easily just never even said “hello”?
When I was asked to write this piece, I was concerned with what exactly they wanted me to say. In the end, I just decided to write what I was feeling. It’s been over three years since I’ve been able to see, touch, and feel Samantha, and my life in many ways has never been worse, but the beautiful (and crushing, I suppose) irony, is that it was that very love that she bestowed on me, that has given me the strength to keep moving forward, because I know that kind of love exists, and that it can come sneaking up on you at any time.
So I guess if I had to leave you with something, I would say, never think you’ve got the world figured out. You may be depressed, or love someone who is depressed, or think that you don’t want love, or you might just be unsure about everything, but if you let down your walls a little bit, and take a swing on something unexpected, sometimes you get borrowed time. It might not be forever, or as much time as you want, or need, but it will give you infinite moments of beauty that would have otherwise never crossed paths with you. Sometimes you just have to trust your instincts, even if your mind isn’t always on your side.
The other thing about Samantha and I is that we were always honest with each other. We didn’t agree on everything, but when we were unsure, we always told each other why, and within minutes, everything would be great again, because we knew we had each other’s backs when we were together, and that’s really all that fucking matters. Even if only one person has your back, and even if that is only for a short time, that is more than a lot of other people ever get, so one last parting shot of wisdom from me would be to take every ounce of good luck you’ve ever received, and let it inspire you for the rest of your life. It’s up to you to choose how long that will be, or how powerful that inspiration is, but the last thing you want to do is ignore it, or push it away.
As far as loving someone who is going through depression, or other forms of mental illness goes, it’s simple. You just keep doing that: Loving. You support them. You listen to them. You understand them. You ask how you can help them. You stay out of their way if you can’t, or they don’t want you to. You embrace them. You believe in them. And you love them. And never take any of it personally. Choose to make them as comfortable as you can, and be happy that you don’t have to deal with all that weight on your shoulders and burden on your mind. Some people may even walk away, because they can’t deal with it. But no matter what, you don’t stop loving them. Because if you stop loving someone who is going through that kind of anguish, well then you probably never really loved them in the first place.
I love you, Samantha. Almost from the first moment I knew you. Then I never stopped, and I always will. Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU for everything. I hope that every second for you now, is as happy as you made me feel every second I was with you. xoxox
Johnny Sparkles is a Hawaiian-born stand up comedian now based in Las Vegas. He is also a journalist for hire, as well as former editor, and staff writer for a handful of websites. His debut comedy album, ‘Homeless Romantic’, is available all over the interwebz, including iTunes, Amazon, Band Camp, and Pass Out Records.