Death of a Friend

September 23, 1995


I found out today that my best friend, Julie, passed away this morning. We’ve been friends since 7th grade. She’s the first person I met when I moved here (to Humble) several years ago. I would definitely consider her my sister. We did grow apart in the last year but we always managed to keep in touch. I used to do everything with her, she even lived with me for a while. As false as this may sound, I somehow knew it would happen. it still came as a shock, but I often wondered about something like this happening.

A few nights ago I had this dream and I can’t help but think that there’s a connection somewhere. It was my life five years ago and I was at school with all my old friends. Me, Julie, Rachel and Heather were the closest in the group. In the dream we’re all sitting in the cafeteria being loud and obnoxious as usual. What I don’t understand is why the dream even took place. I wasn’t thinking of them at all that day. One person was missing though, Julie wasn’t in the dream. I can almost guarantee she will be in my dreams tonight. I guess I’m still in disbelief, but her death was a freakish event. Rachel called me with the bad news and not long after she came to pick me up. We went over to the family wake which is always a disturbing experience. Julie was wearing a real pretty dress but I know she wouldn’t like it. Her hair was done up just how she would have had it, but her face was different. Of course her skin was pathetically pale, but her lips and her eyes were not even recognizable. They looked swollen and her face was so skinny. She looked fake, just like that of a wax figure. Her once pregnant stomach was back down to it’s normal size. The baby is in stable condition but nobody thinks his chances of survival are very high. He is two months early and not able to breathe on his own yet. Tomorrow they’ll be taking him off the respiratory machine and I guess that will determine his fate.

Julie never got to see her baby. She died of a heart attack in the early morning hours of the day. The night before she had been having chest pains and even went to the doctor for it. He said it was nothing, gave her some pain pills, and sent her back home. She took a hot bath to relieve the pain and ended up staying awake for the remainder of the night. The next morning she took another hot bath and that’s when the heart attack hit her. She was revived once but not for very long. She was eighteen.

I get the feeling I’m going to carry this for a long time. I’ve never been able to handle death very well. Right now, it’s about four in the morning and I’m beyond tired. For some reason, I’m dreading sleep, maybe because I fear dreaming. I admit I haven’t been sober all night, but who wants to be at times like this? None of it seems real. Somehow I doubt that it ever will. I just keep on saying it over and over again, “I just can’t believe that Julie’s dead. She’s really gone. She’s really dead.”

Author: Lindsay Niemann

Writer | Graphic Artist