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I didn’t get to go to D’s funeral. It was this past Tuesday, and I had exams on Wednesday and on Thursday. Not to mention that I was halfway across the country.

But I haven’t really heard much about it.

This is way different from what happened with A. When A passed away, there was this huge outpouring of support. There was a chain text message in honor of her, we lit candles for her, people organized a memorial at school and the painting of the rock…

None of that this time.

It makes sense, I guess. This wasn’t an accident. Of course, the school doesn’t want to make it look like they’re condoning suicide. And all of us were mostly in shock and it hasn’t really sunk in, so I guess that’s why showing support is so slow. We’re still just really confused. And it’s the second one this year – that also changes the dynamic.

But still.

And I’ve only heard from one person about what the funeral was like. Apparently, it was basically SUPER Jesus-y and then these two random old men came to give speeches. One told his life story for about ten minutes and didn’t mention D at all; the closest thing was about how all his kids went to the same college. And then the other one lectured about how suicide is bad and he said that he had never met D, but he was glad this happened because he hasn’t cried in years, and he cried after this. So he now knows he had a heart. Jeez, it took you the suicide of some stranger to tell you that you had a heart?

Obviously, I am biased because I knew D and because I am hearing this from only one source. But still, this just angers me.

For A’s funeral, I did get to go. That one was also too much Jesus and not enough A, and it seemed like the Reverend officiating didn’t know A at all. But still, everyone else that spoke talked about how A had touched their lives and how fantastic of a person she was.

Not this random stranger business.

Having a lot of religion is fine. Having strong faith can provide great support in times like these. I fully admire those who truly believe and who need their faith to help keep strong, though I am not religious myself. But I disagree when the religion overshadows the whole point of the funeral. I feel like the whole point of the funeral services is to memorialize the one who passed away – to remember all of the great things that she has done, the great person she was. It is NOT to try to convert more people to whichever religion. And D was atheist! Religion playing a huge role in her funeral just doesn’t make sense to me.

This is also why it bothers me that there were those two men who didn’t even know D. What business do you have speaking about somebody you don’t know when she passed away? What good do you do to those who are in pain and suffering? Keep things to yourself and let those who can truly remember her to speak and memorialize her.

And the lecture about how suicide was bad…Please let me know if I have this wrong, but people generally attend funerals because they are in mourning and because they’ve been touched and they loved the deceased. We’re already in pain – don’t you think we realize that suicide is bad? What, do you think that we think suicide is good when it took away somebody we loved?

And saying that suicide is bad, I feel, also carries a negative message about D. And although I don’t agree with what she did, and I am hurt and maybe even angry that she went through with it, I think that at this time, we should be trying to focus on the good things. About how she was smart and funny and so sweet. Not attaching this stigma to her and not painting her as a suicidal girl. She was far more than that. And at her funeral, I think it should be about remembering the good times that we had with her and what a light she shone on our lives.

A lot of people are angry at D for committing suicide. They say that she was selfish and that it was wrong. I admit it, I was angry at her too, for it. How come she didn’t trust any of us to even tell us about it? How come she didn’t think we cared enough about her to want to help? And yeah, in a way, this is an easy way out, leaving the rest of us in pain.

But there’s no point in being angry at a dead person. And more than angry, I am sad that she was in such a position that she felt that way. It’s tragic that she had gotten to such a point that she didn’t see anything in life worth living for. And I wish that I could’ve somehow made her see how precious life is, but it’s too late for that now.

It’s too late for anger or sadness to be of any use anyway – she’s gone. The best thing to do now, I think, is to just remember how lovely of  a person she was. There’s no point in blaming people, there’s no point in spreading rumors about her. Doing all that just vilifies her…and she wasn’t like that.

I don’t know. Throughout all of this, I’m just so confused and I don’t know how to feel or what to do. I’ve been avoiding thinking about it and it’s really easy for me to get absorbed in something else. But then I feel guilty that I haven’t grieved for her right. Bah. It just gives me a headache.

So, I’m a little bit upset.

I wrote in my last post about my friend, D, who committed suicide a little over a week ago.

Well, apparently, that news has been going around, and one of my friends, J, from the city I lived in during middle school posted a LJ entry about how her mom called to ask if she was suicidal. And J went on to say that it was an Asian pre-med frosh who didn’t do so great in her classes and thus committed suicide.

I know J didn’t mean to hurt, and I probably would’ve said the same thing. But I feel like this is just trivializing the matter so much.

D wasn’t like that. Yes, D was an Asian pre-med frosh. That much is true. But to say that she killed herself solely because of not doing so hot in a few classes – that’s just demeaning her character. Even all through high school, we all had some hard times. Hell, our high school was hard. And yes, D cared about classes, but even in high school, if she didn’t do so great, she would be upset, but never overly so. She was not the type to sob if she got a 89%. And to say that that’s what caused her to give up on life – that’s just making her sound like a person who has totally perverted priorities. And she wasn’t like that.

I’m an Asian pre-med frosh, too. And yes, I care about grades, but I would never go to such an extreme of killing myself if I didn’t do well in a class. And neither would D. I can’t pretend to even comprehend, but I know D must have been in tremendous pain to have even considered killing herself, and it must be beyond anything I can understand if she would actually go through with it.

So this brings me to that stereotype. Yes, many pre-meds are Asian. And yes, many of them care ridiculously about grades. And I do think that there are many who have completely missed the point on life and want to be pre-med for the wrong reasons and focus their energies in the wrong direction. I, too, make that generalization that there are those who sacrifice their lives to slaving away for a 4.0 GPA when they don’t even actually want to be doctors, they just want to please their parents or make lots of money and have that status. I have many times before, and probably still will, thought that the majority of kids that are pre-med are in it for the wrong reasons. And I have been angry, because I have thought that many of them are way smarter than me and are willing to do nothing but study, whereas I’m not as smart and I want to do other things, but I want to be a doctor because I truly do want to help people.

But I guess this just shows that you never know, do you? On the outside, they may all seem to be like that. But maybe inside, they are good people and this is just their way of coping with life. And I have no right to judge them about what I think their way of life is, when I don’t even know them. To lay those bare ideas and say that Asian pre-meds are suicidal – that’s just a bundle of logical fallacies, isn’t it?

God, D, I’m sorry that your death has stirred up all of this controversy and that people are making you out to be a person that you’re not. I still don’t understand it. I’m still just so confused and shocked and just frustrated that this doesn’t make any sense to me.

But the important thing is that I love you. And I don’t know if I ever told you that when you were here with me. And I wish that you had known that I love you and that so many of us love you and that you had found that enough to overcome the pain you must have been feeling – But wishing is futile and I guess in this kind of a situation, the best thing to do is to focus on the love that we have for you. There’s no point in stirring up these horrible ideas.

So, D, I love you. I miss you. Rest in peace.

I finally broke down and cried, just cried.

My friend, D, committed suicide two nights ago. I had gone to high school with her and had a lot of classes with her. During freshman year, all the teachers would confuse us for each other (I don’t know why – we DON’T look alike! Just because we were both Asian girls with ponytails…). We suffered through IB together. She was always pushing herself to the limit – she didn’t sleep much at all, and when I was up really late for homework, usually she’d still be up for me to turn to. She loved anime and drawing – she was so talented at art. And she was smart and worked so hard, too. Yeah, we had some tough times. She had a ridiculous courseload and I know her parents pushed her. But I never thought it would come to this.

She went to U of M and I went to H, and I didn’t really talk to her that much this year. And now it’s too late and I won’t get to talk to her ever again.

What happened was that I had just sat down at a computer in the Language Resource Center to watch my movie for Spanish (though I was just about to log in to Facebook) when I got a call from T. I was like, “T!!! I’m in the library! I can’t talk!” but she said that it was important with that tone of voice that just made the panic come up in my throat.

And then she said that she had heard from K that D had committed suicide.

I didn’t believe it. This just doesn’t make sense. Especially since this is the second death this year of one of my friends from my high school graduating class.

That time, it had been December of 2008, and I was at my work in a Psych lab. I was being distracted and being on Facebook when I saw all these Facebook statuses saying RIP A.R. And I was just like, Oh my God, this has got to be a joke. And you see, my phone had been off, because this was right after Thanksgiving Break, where I had left my phone charger at home. And I hadn’t asked my parents to mail it because it was almost Winter Break. So to save battery, my phone was off. So I ran to my phone and turned it on, and I see all these missed calls and texts saying that I should call because it was important.

And then T told me that there had been a car accident and A didn’t make it.

I had to go to the bathroom because I didn’t want people to see me cry. Which kinda failed, because some woman came in while I was trying to tell my mom about what had happened. And then I had to go back and attempt to finish coding the video and joy of joys, people from the Museum of Science were touring the lab and I gave them a weak smile and turned away as quickly as I could.

There are four of us total from my high school graduating class that are in this city. That night was the first night we were all together, after we had gotten here.

We met up in AD’s room and we cried together. We tried to make a video for her on Facebook, and it ended up just being this major cryfest.

I slept over that night (if you can call it sleep) and then somehow or another, I rearranged things, so I could leave early to go on vacation! – Except it was to go to a funeral.

And seeing everybody was just so hard – we were so happy to see each other, but at the same time, it was not for a happy occasion.

Then, the actual funeral. It was open casket, and seeing A’s body was so scary – it didn’t look like she was dead; it looked like she was just sleeping and she would all of a sudden sit up and scream, “HA! Tricked you, didn’t I?” I kept on sneaking glances, but no, she wasn’t moving.

I wanted to give a little speech about her at the actual services, but I didn’t have enough faith in myself that I wouldn’t cry. And instead, I sat through proceedings that in my opinion, were too much Jesus and not enough A. I’m all for Jesus and everything, but the funeral was supposed to be to memorialize A. And it didn’t seem like the Reverend officiating had known A at all – he completely missed the point and spent his time praising Jesus instead of praising A. But T’s speech was so good – and A’s dad had written something – and it all just made me cry and cry, until there were these trails of salt on my coat.

T’s parents gave me a ride home and T’s dad brought to our attention that the only reason A had looked okay enough for an open casket was because they had caked on so much makeup. I hadn’t noticed, but after hearing that, it just scared me even more.

The actual burial was so tough, too. Everybody else had somehow managed to have one single rose of the exact same color. T and I had gone shopping and had bought a giant bouquet of spring flowers that were definitely NOT the same color. We threw it in, plastic wrap and flower food and all. I bet A liked it.

And I spent the rest of break, keeping to myself. And I returned, changed and still waving off questions of whether I was okay. I’m such a bundle of contradictions – on one side, I wanted people to notice that I was in pain, but on the other hand, I didn’t want their pity. And it’s not like they knew how to deal with this.  How do you console somebody who’s lost a friend so young?

But I had managed to live on, but still clinging on by writing on A’s wall and thinking about her.

And then it happened again.

A’s death was hard because it was an accident. D’s death is hard because it wasn’t.

I can’t even pretend to imagine what D must have been going through. How much pain must she have been in to actually go through with killing herself? Having suicidal thoughts, I can understand. Actually going through with it is just beyond what I can comprehend.

Knowing it’s a suicide is bad enough. Coming with that are the questions, whether I could’ve done anything and why didn’t she reach out to someone? Didn’t anybody do anything to help?

But then it’s made worse by the fact that the rumors going around are that it was because of her father. Her father had always been tough on her, I know, but what the rumors are saying is that D got a B in calculus and her dad yelled at her or something. Firstly, that just makes what D did seem so trivial – that she did this because of a B?! And second of all, her dad does not deserve this blame. It’s true, inside, I do emotionally kinda blame him a little bit. And I’m mad at myself for that. And maybe the fight with her dad was a tipping point. But it cannot have been the sole reason. And no matter whether he is to blame or not, don’t you think he’d already be wracked with guilt? He just lost his daughter! He does not deserve the additional pain of having people thinking he’s to blame. And this was done in their home – how horrible must it be to come home to discover that your daughter has killed herself?

And then this is made further worse by the fact that it was so deliberate. D took a bunch of pills, drank a lot of alcohol of some sort, AND locked the door and let the gas run. Three different ways – to ensure that she would die. That is just so terrifying to me. She didn’t give herself even the slightest chance to live. This was so purposeful – and to think that she was at such a low point that she didn’t want even a small opportunity to live – it just terrifies me.

I’m just still so confused. I don’t understand this at all. And I can’t help but be selfish, but think, why the hell is this happening to me? This isn’t fair. I’m too young for this; I shouldn’t have to be joining two RIP groups on Facebook. I’m only 19; I shouldn’t have friends dying. And the fact that there’s two – that’s just unfair. Should I go up to my proctor and just be like, “Hey, what’s up? Oh yeah, by the way, another friend of mine just died.” It hasn’t even been a year since we graduated high school. And our graduating class has just shrunk by two. This shouldn’t be happening.

I don’t even know how to deal with this. I’ve just been pretending like nothing happened and trying to forget about it. And I’d been pretty successful. It wasn’t as hard as it would’ve been, because I was already in a state across the country, so I hadn’t seen them anyway. But I feel guilty about forgetting about it, but I don’t know how to feel about it and I don’t know how to deal with it. I’m not equipped to deal with it.

But somehow, I guess I gotta.

D, A, I want to let you know – I love both of you SO much and I miss you both SO much. Words can’t even express how much. Rest in peace, dears. We love you and miss you down here.

So.

I’ve kinda wanted to blog for a while, but to be honest, I don’t really know anything about blogging. And I probably don’t have anything all that profound to say. Perhaps I’ll just use this like a journal. I loved having a journal when I was younger, and I wish I had kept up with it. And I thought I was going to try writing in a journal this year…and well, it’s February and that definitely hasn’t happened.

Anyway, in the very small chance that somebody will read this blog, I suppose I should introduce myself or something? Perhaps I’ll think a bit about the kind of person I am…I’m all up for introspection.

So. I’m Clara. Currently a freshman at a college that’s…well, let’s be frank. Way commercialized and that has an ego and reputation as big as its endowment. (Which is indeed, quite sizable) But let’s also be frank in this – I love being here. But I guess that’s another post. I suppose my college is one thing that defines me. It is indeed a big chunk of my life…and it’s where the title of this post comes from. Being a freshman and starting off with new extracurriculars and new classes with a bazillion new people, there’s that standard introduction…

Being Korean-American defines me, too. Born in America, and I’ve lived here all my life. But still, my Korean heritage is a HUGE part of my life. I didn’t have a choice, though, really. My mom’s a Korean school teacher and vice-principal (set to be principal…). It’s not like I could avoid learning Korean. And our house is full of Koreanness. But I don’t mind. I’m really proud of being Korean and it’s definitely shaped me.

I’m terribly terribly awkward. Just a dork in general. And perhaps a geek and a nerd, too. Okay, not perhaps. For sure. I like to think that I have some social graces, though. I’ve got enough friends and I’m pretty darn friendly.

I’m apparently really cheerful and cutesy, too. I do have a tendency to act 10 years younger than I am…My high school friends would say that even when I try to be angry, I get happy a second later. Not exactly true, but I guess that’s the vibe I give off.

I love music…I’ve tried my hand at various instruments (piano for a number of years, oboe for a year, and viola for a whopping two months) but now I just stick to singing. And I love listening to music, too. My music tastes are pretty varied, and what I’m listening to depends on what phase I’m in.

I also just really like people. Generally. That’s how I got here, really. I’m not especially talented in anything – I’m just pretty good at a lot of things. But I really like people and I place a lot of importance on interactions with people.

Anyway. Enough talking about me. There are lots of things that can be said about me, but hopefully, this’ll be a place where I try to figure things out, and that includes myself.

So. A blog. Here we go.