She started a life full of promise. She was bright, infectious, funny. And then she started down a couple of bad paths, and they led to a couple more. It soon became clear that she had problems, and her problems became our problems. And ultimately she died far too young on February 12, 2010, at the hands of another.
We’re full of questions, regrets, and sadness… but we’ll be ok. I wrote the following to read on Friday at her funeral, but ultimately someone stepped in to help.
Good luck, Tara. The worst is over, and there’s happiness ahead.
Tara had a hard life. She lived her life in a difficult way, and never managed to take advantage of what was offered her to make it better. Hard choices that may have helped her were often discounted; the easier path was more often taken. It was a frustrating cycle for those who loved her, and I, like others, ultimately gave up hope that she would turn her life around, and find a positive path.
Her diseases kept her from behavior that we would consider rational, and to blame her for simply making bad choices in her life would not be fair to her. Her life became harder over the years simply because her capacity for rational behavior became less and less. Her diseases made it harder to make good choices, and her resulting choices created an even harder life. I spent a long time blaming Tara for her behavior, but I now know that it was not all her fault. And I’m sorry, Tara.
The thing is, I gave up hoping for Tara. And I simply gave up on her. But I never stopped loving her. And no matter the choices she made in her life, I want to think of her now as the same bright, beautiful person she was when she was young.
One of her friends from high school, arguably the best time of Tara’s life, wrote:
“I do and will always remember her fondly. Bright eyed, clever, inquisitive, together.”
The easiest, and most disrespectful way to remember Tara will be through her problems. And I won’t do that, Tara, I promise. I’m going to hold onto the best of you. You, in better days.
I think that’s what we all can do. Remember the best of her, in her best times. Her smile. Her eagerness to laugh. Her love of music. The remarkably easy way her personality could attract a new friend. Her kindness, her heart.
You’ll always be family, Tara. We love you.