If I called you more, would I still be able to call you now?

How many people ask themselves that horrible question?

Why, in 2018 do people still have to suffer in silence? Why do they not get the help they need to make it through their darkest days? Why is it that sometimes, suicide can seem like the only way forward. If forward is even the right word.

I’ve asked myself this question three times in my life, and it’s three times too many. If any of my friends ever need to talk. Hell, even if you’re not my friend but you’re reading this and feeling low, send me a message and let’s talk it through. I promise you, nothing can ever be as bad as death. It can never be as bad as leaving people behind who love you and care for you.

If I had one more chance to speak to my dear friend, here are the stories I would re-live because these were the days we laughed until our faces hurt.

Dear Kim,

I remember just like it was yesterday when you barrel rolled into my life as we both went for the last canapé at the opening of Guy Redwood’s offices in Leeds. We bonded over our love of the city parties where there was free food and free wine and you could spend an entire evening eating and drinking in the name of ‘networking’.

I had just started dating Mark and my birthday was coming up. I knew he had got me some jewellery because he’d asked if I preferred silver or gold, and I told you it was probably an engagement ring. You told me I was probably wrong. You were right. As you often were.

We swapped numbers and before long, we were on all the hot guest lists and wolfing down as many free King Prawns and glasses of champagne as our waistlines would allow. Which if any of you met Kim or me, you’d know was quite a few.

My fondest (but most brutal) memory of you is your 30th birthday / house party. You introduced me to Aperol Spritz – which I can no longer drink, thanks very much – with an Apple Sourz chaser. You told me that it was fine to mix the two in quick succession because they both began with “AP”. This was one of the few occasions you were wrong, very wrong.

I had to call Mark at something absurd like 10pm and get him to come and collect me because I couldn’t walk. In the car I actually couldn’t see and decided to take all my clothes off as we drove down the M62 so I was ready for bed when I got home. I didn’t take into account the walk from the car to the house. It was okay though, because I spent the next 12 hours throwing up, and who needs clothes when you have the bath mat huh?

I know you had some tough things to face. We spoke about them over cheese and wine many times. It usually involved me telling you how fantastic you were and that you deserved an eleven out of ten. You completely ignoring me and settling for second best. Me texting you stupid GIFs. Us promising to meet up more often, then leaving it another few months.

Eventually you found your own path and started a new life without ‘the neg’. I was lucky enough to see you smile as you saw me (finally) become a wife. We joked about the first time we met and I told you this man was going to be my husband. It means the absolute world that you were there with me the day I found my happy ever after, I only pray that I could have been there to help you find yours.

The last time we spoke I was on my way to see my Grandad in a Nursing Home as he entered his final few days. I never even thought it would be the last time I spoke to you. I was so wrapped up in losing Sid, and the fact that my time with him was interrupted by me having to go and by oil for my car that I didn’t even think you could be going through hell yourself. We talked about cars and work and you told me you were going to look at a new car that afternoon. I said we needed to take it for a spin in the country and go for a Sunday Roast. That day never came.

I’m so sorry if we failed you Kim. If somehow I could have called you more, texted you more, downed more of that hellish Aperol Spritz, just so you knew how many people love you. The amount of people left behind crying and wishing we could have done more for you is staggering. It such a shame that you only truly find out how loved you were in death. I hope that wherever you may be right now, you’re at peace and that you feel surrounded by all our love.

I will never forget you Kim, you were one of the good ones.


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