To commemorate Jordan's life 5 years after her death, we have been posting a series of blogs every day for the past few days. This 4th piece was written by Candice, Jordan's friend.
I’ve never ventured into writing something personal for this blog, like others bravely have. I hadn’t even thought about it until I realized this year would mark five years since Jordan died.
Jordan is clearly the spark for the foundation, as she was in life. She was bright and funny and punny beyond belief. She was/is my favorite person. Tenses are a funny thing now.
For a bit of context, Jordan was my college friend, housemate, and mutually-dubbed “platonic soulmate” - we thought that if we were in a romantic relationship as fantastic as our friendship, we could be sure we’d found "the one."
At my only NYC meeting for survivors of suicide (people who have lost someone they love to suicide), one woman who had lost her son burst into tears admitting that she feels at fault. She spent her life as a social worker, keeping others mentally healthy, but she was unable to see the pain her son was going through. I mentioned this weird thing that had been happening with me since Jordan died. I’ve started to imagine that Jordan never existed - that maybe she was just a figment of my imagination. A woman in the group who had lost her husband of 30+ years looked up at me and said that she’d felt the same way but hadn’t put it in words before.
I don’t think I consciously thought suicide was an option for Jordan, mostly because she told me years before her depression took over how deeply a child's death had and would effect her parents. It was also a terrifying thought my conscious mind would rather keep far away. When her mom called us to ask if we’d known where she was and I re-read her last text to me that I (annoyingly still) received a couple hours after she sent it due to a basement classroom, I suddenly knew that she’d attempted suicide and all I could hope was that it just didn’t work. And in the flurry of emotions when I found out, I remember feeling confused and frustrated that I couldn’t turn back time just a few hours.
Time is weird. Jordan has been dead longer than I knew her alive. 5 years feels like 50 years (a timeframe I don’t even know) and it feels like 5 days.
5 years after Jordan took her own life, I miss her. 5 years after Jordan took her own life, I’m mad that we’re not living together in New York like we’d talked about, jointly experiencing the absurd, gross and magical things this city has to offer wide-eyed 20-something-year-olds. I’m mad that I don’t get to be the godmother to any of the 3-5 kids she would have liked to have. I’m mad that she’s the only person I know who would spontaneously cook up these “miracle” Japanese noodles that are only made out of digestible fiber and think they tasted OK enough to eat (with the rightly spiced sauces, of course). I’m mad because so many good things have been born because of Jordan and continue to be born because of her, but she will never see them (from this perspective, at least). 5 years after Jordan took her own life, I’m semi-relieved that I can still find the playfulness and humor she so delightfully and effortlessly pulled out of me. 5 years after Jordan took her own life, I really, so deeply wish she was sitting right here, next to me, making me laugh-cry with the story of whatever hilarious shenanigan she’d gotten herself into this time.
One of our other good friends mentioned that I was a thick pillar of sadness in the weeks after Jordan died. I think my grief looks more like a purse I can carry now and sometimes even forget I have on! Until I remember it and its ripple effects. The shift feels like this beautiful illustration by Mari Andrew.
Time becomes even more distorted when I can still look back at Facebook messages and emails we wrote to each other. They became one sided after she died. I wrote this on her Facebook wall, knowing there'd be no response:
It holds true today. I’m still trying 5 days / 5 years / 50 years later.