My friend Elise killed herself.

Tim gave me the news yesterday.  I think it happened Sunday (or maybe the prior Sunday, but I wasn’t really tracking dates).

Elise had some kind of a degenerative disease that was slowly killing her — making it less and less possible for her to breathe.  I’m told she watched her father and brother die of the same disease.  So she made a choice, in a state where it is legal to make a choice.

And she is gone.

Elise and I lived in the same house for a while.  I liked her, and I was attracted to her.  We shared some important values (and did not share some other important values).  I would have explored possibilities, but she was not interested.  And it’s probably just as well.  I have trouble imagining making a life with her (in so far as I remember her accurately all these years later) and I’m happy where I am with Anne and the girls.  I wouldn’t change things if I could.

Tim and I used to give her a hard time.  One morning she and Jill came down as we were reading the paper and asked us what was new.  Tim told them Alaska had succeeded from the Union.  They didn’t believe us at first.  But we stuck to out guns until we got Elise to look for the story on page 21.  I think they may have thrown something.

She was raped by a high school boyfriend.  Who added insult to injury when he told her it didn’t really count because he was drunk.  But, as she said, it did count.  He did rape her.  And there is a part of me that hopes he’s experienced some small corner of hell for it.

I will remember her as a caring person, who experienced more than her fair share of sorrow.  She worked for peace and justice.  She fought fires.  She made jewelry.  She lived her life — a life that I would call a good life.  And I mourn her death.

I trust her to God’s loving care — a God I’m not sure she acknowledged, but whom I am confident she served.

I will miss her