It was a Saturday night in November, not just any ordinary Saturday night because it was my sorority’s semi-formal. The evening was going to be full of fun and dancing. When my friends and I arrived at the dance, my sorority sisters and their dates were dancing. I made my rounds to say hello and then I danced.
Throughout the night, we danced, ate, and had fun. I spent time with several of my close friends, including Sally. We had a great time together. As the last song of the night began, she pulled down her sunglasses and began dancing. When I think back, I wish that I could remember the song that was playing while we were dancing. At the end of that song, I said I’d see her later in the night. I went to another party.
Every weekend, my college has a visible police presence so I didn’t think anything when I saw the emergency lights. I heard a rumor that someone had jumped from a building but I didn’t think it was true. Suddenly, a sorority member came running into the house calling everyone to the sorority suite immediately. I started to put the pieces of the puzzle together—the police at the dorm building, the rumor, and the urgent sorority meeting.
After I headed to the sorority suite, someone told me who had jumped. I fell to the ground and began crying. I ran to the suite to see if this was true. Immediately I saw the director of Greek affairs, a minister, and everyone crying. I knew it was true.
Sally climbed out of her seventh story dorm room window and jumped.
My good friend Sally, whom I had just seen at the dance, got into an argument with her roommate. Her roommate left the room. Sally climbed out of her seventh story dorm room window and jumped. She was still alive after hitting the ground. She was rushed to the local hospital and life-flighted to a larger hospital. We heard the life flight helicopter fly over the dorm. We sat silently praying for the slim chance that Sally would survive.
After a horrible night of sleep, I woke up and went to the sorority suite. I heard the news—Sally had died during the night.
Sunday was a day of mourning. Everyone in the sorority spent all day in the suite and different people from the campus community came to show their condolences. On Sunday and Monday, there were memorials, church services, and remembrances of my friend. Classes on Monday were full of sorrow and silence. In some classes, professors discussed the tragedy while others just taught the day’s lesson. Either way, everyone’s mind was on what had happened that past weekend. At noon on Monday, the chapel bell rang 21 times in memory of Sally.
On the day of the funeral, the school provided a bus so that her college friends could attend. That day was snowy and very cold but the sun would come out every so often. I kept thinking that the sun was Sally looking down on everyone who loved her.
Sally’s suicide was one of the most difficult times in my life. I wonder if Sally knew how much I cared about her, how much all of her friends cared. Not a day goes by that I do not think of her. I wear a bracelet everyday that the sorority made in her honor.
If you ever think your life isn’t worth living,* please take a look around and realize how many people care about you and would miss you if anything were to happen.
*Text HOME to 741741 for free 24/7 crisis support in the United States.