I struggled with what to title this post. We found out a former roommate passed away this week. We strongly suspect it was suicide, but haven’t wanted to ask because we’re not sure what she told people about us before we stopped communicating with her. We did manage to stay in light contact over social media.
If you don’t mind, i’m going to use this space to process a little. I’m finding my ambivalence about her death a bit of a struggle right now.
Anyways, when she moved in with us it was at near the early stages of her battle with addiction. She’d just lost her house and desperately needed a place to live, so we took her and her dogs in. When she was sober, she was a ball of energy. However during her time with us we discovered that she was a gun-toting racist. When she was inebriated she was even more one of those. But she could also be very kind and helped me a lot with hair and makeup when i got married. (I have no talent in that area)
But like most addicts, we realized early on that she was an unreliable narrator and judge of character. We couldn’t tell fact from fiction with her. I grew up around addiction, because of my Native American background. Living with her was in many ways quite triggering. It didn’t help that she’d leave her loaded pistol out, all the time. I grew up rural, in a hunting a community, where that would get your gun taken away, no; ifs, ands. or buts! Plus guns and addicts is always a bad combo.
So... yeah, a lot of bad there. And yet i realize that i kinda held out hope that she’d at least keep being a functioning alcoholic. That just looks so bad now that i wrote it out.
But this last year, it seems she spiraled out of control. Over social media we watched her lose several jobs and then get thrown in rehab and soon there were court dates. She died just before a hearing that may have ended with her doing a stint in jail.
It’s weird watching the outpouring of grief on her wall. Esp when it’s from people she’d gossip about with us. Sometimes i want to jump in and tell them what she told us about them. But due to my training in ministry and grief, i remain silent. We don’t what she told her close family and friends about us, so we don’t think we’re going to try and go to her funeral. Having to miss a day of work to go also makes it even more difficult for us to go.
So yeah, we’re sad, but also strangely relieved. We checked and her dogs are still alive and it looks like her parents have taken them in. She once said if she killed herself she’d kill them first and then herself. We’re glad that her parents have them to help them through this difficult time. And, well... that’s where we’re at.
On that note, i’m off to get some ramen, so i’ll be checking in on this post off and on throughout the day. Feel free to share your stories of ambivalence about grief.