If I wanted to say good bye, I would start by thanking everyone in my life who has taught me to stand up and be a woman of grace and dignity.
I would apologize for the times I was less than what I could be (see above) and I would to my best to assure all those left behind that they had nothing to do with my decision.
I would probably try and explain how tired I was of the world and how I just couldn't face the slings and arrows any more but that no one should think that they could have saved me or changed my mind.
Why do I write about this today? Well, it's funny. For some reason I have been thinking about how difficult it is to explain 'feeling alone' to those who do not experience it at the kind of pathological level it can be felt. We can all open our copy of The Bell Jar or listen to Jackson Browne albums from the 80's and get a glimpse of loneliness or depression, but it goes deeper when one is really feeling alone and hopeless. The thoughts are difficult to express and the words really tough to form and the problem, I think, is that when one tries to explain those times of despair with any kind of accuracy one tends to sound incredibly self absorbed and whiny.
No one wants to sound self absorbed and whiny, so nothing get said.
Nothing gets said and the feelings grow and grow and grow until the commercial for Abilify look reasonable and the person in despair can't stand their own whiny self anymore - at which point they either leave their life or they snap out of it.
I have often entertained the fantasy of leaving my life. Just getting my dog and getting into my car and going somewhere, anywhere, to start again. Changing my name, my hair color, and landing in some dessert town where I could get a job as a waitress in a roadside diner. People could call me 'Belle' or 'Madge' and speculate on what I used to be before I blew into town one night with a unstrung guitar and a Scottish terrier.
Then I remember that I need a place with air conditioning and I hated being a waitress in college which means I won't like it any better now that I have arthritis in my hands and feet.
In other words I will not be taking off in the middle of the night and I won't be writing a good bye note to the life I have right now. There will be no long letter telling the people around me now not to blame themselves (while subtly blaming them for my own despair) and urging them not to look for me. I won't be trying to get a fake SSN or driving to a high desert town to sling hash to people there to hunt rattlesnakes or find God among the cactus.
Instead, I will continue to write and continue to ask for God to guide me. I will occasionally lose my temper when I get pushed too hard and I will feel awful about it. I will make my apologies and I will pray and I will rely upon sobriety and a Sacramental Life to get me through this world.
And I will thank St Dominic and Bl. Margaret of Castello for praying for me because I know I cannot do this all alone.