During the Autumn of 2001, I was working for a company that included in its health plan, visits to a psychologist should we ever feel the need. Guided by a voice I didn’t really hear, I squeezed in an appointment after a good kickboxing workout, but before I went home to get thoroughly stoned, drink lots of water, eat a pack of cookies, then go to bed.
She was a wee woman with long dark hair, the top half of which was tied back. She wore a dress and the exact same shoes I had at home: White Mountain clogs, my favorite at the time. Her name was Kerry and as I sat there perched on the edge of the couch, I wanted to flee but knew I had to stay. I confessed to not knowing why I was there except that I seemed to keep sabotaging any relationship I had (hindsight now – they just weren’t the Right One). Kerry asked what I assumed were the usual therapist sort of questions: What was your childhood like? What about your parents? What were you like in school? And bingo, like a woven tapestry of ones life, the threads we weave to make up our history become frayed, loosened. Sometimes, as a protective measure we have strung and restrung so many times over and around particular things that we don’t even see the pattern anymore. But there is always a string, always a fragment; pull it, and it’s quite possible that everything you had worked on, simply comes undone. And that’s what she made me do, with one simple tug on a historical thread.
Kerry was meant for me. I have always believed that. We spent eighteen months digging shit out of a nasty hole and filling it back up with good. Some sessions were angry, some heartbreaking at the knowledge of fresh, uncovered details, some lighthearted, sometimes I’d sit there for fifteen/twenty minutes just staring out the window but she never, ever made me feel as if I were wasting her time. I mean, I know she was getting paid but the relationship never had the ‘clock watching’ feel. She was intuitive, compassionate, ethical, and next to my husband, the most important person I’ve had the joy of dancing with in my life. Her influence followed me around all the time, unseen but always there. A physical reminder, a gift from her hangs in my car, and has hung in every car I’ve owned since the day she gave it to me.
On Monday, I learned that Kerry had committed suicide. It seemed, and not unlike the wonderful Robin Williams, that she had dedicated her life to helping others but couldn’t do anything about her own shadowy companion. She was loved by so many, as evidenced by the outpouring of emotion on her page, and it breaks all of our hearts to think that she believed this to be her only choice.
Kerry was a light-filled, beautiful spirit; spry and twinkly, quick to laugh, but also deeply committed to healing.
Goodnight, sweet lady.