Death and All of His Friends

“No I don’t wanna battle from beginning to end 
I don’t wanna cycle, recycle revenge
I don’t wanna follow death and all of his friends.” -Coldplay

On a few previous occasions I wrote about deaths of friends, like Jeff and Debbie. I have not written until now about the death of Kathy. One reason for this is that her 1994 death seemed more private, somehow, than the deaths of Jeff and Debbie in 1982.

I remember when I heard about Kathy’s death. I was in the newsroom in Ada when Michael called. He told me in his usual roundabout way, saying (quoted from my journal), “Are you sitting down? The police are still searching for the person who had last contact with the deceased Kathy.”

As I write about it now and re-read her journal, I feel sad. Her life was full of pain and longing, yet she was, mostly unknown to me, in love with me. Her loneliness, though, as much as she cursed it, was mostly her own construct. I found it difficult to reach her, and even when I was with her, she kept a high wall between us. There wasn’t any way I could have prevented her death. Even if I had called her on the phone that night in 1994, it would only have delayed her inevitable self-destruction.

I came to Norman to be with my friends on that day. When I arrived at Anna and David‘s place, I found David had written “Thanatos” on the chalk board in their kitchen to commemorate the event.

My own commemoration of this untimely death is the publication of Kathy’s journal. It provides an insight into a mind and soul profoundly and desperately unhappy, yet yearning to love and live, and it serves as a reminder that there are still those among us whose hearts are dark and damaged, and might, if only for a moment, find comfort in our presence.