I'm not myself these days. I'm having trouble posting my typical venue, despite some cuteness from the kids over the long weekend. I'll get to that again soon. For now, I couldn't decide whether to acknowledge this in this setting or not. Not acknowledging it felt rather like a lie, while acknowledging it felt a bit like betrayal. However, I can't simply ignore it.
I knew it was quite possible that I would one day lose a client to suicide, given the instability of the persons I serve.
She was a child. A young teenager. Her whole life still ahead of her. She was in constant emotional agony. She was unpredictable. Impulsive. She was smart. She was funny.
I see her face in my mind's eye. Hear her voice, her laughter. I see her smile. I remember her jokes. There's something wrong, under the circumstances, about the fact that I won't be sitting face to face with her again, exploring with her the meaning of her life and how to live it.
Her appointment is still written in my book for next week. I can't bring myself to erase it, even though I know she won't be there. Her life cannot, and should not, simply be erased.
I am not unaffected by my clients' lives, and I don't want to be. I want to grow as a professional and as a person. While my services are focused on providing what my clients need, I don't go away empty handed. I most certainly don't go away unchanged.
The experience I had with this client has changed me as a professional and as a person in ways I do not yet completely know. While I couldn't save her, I will learn from her. I don't say that simply because she would have liked to have heard me say it, but it makes me smile to know that she would have.
I hope you are free now, sweet girl. I hope you are free.