a post by Publisher and Editorial Director Carrie White-Parrish
Right, so I know I don’t usually lend my voice to these blogs, and that’s pretty intentional. Although I do know a LOT, I also know that the GH authors are far more entertaining than I am (and better writers!), so I like to put them to the forefront.
Today, I can’t do that. As much as I’d like to. Although in a way I guess I am here to talk about one of our authors, so it’s kind of the same thing. Kind of.
To set the scene, this is the part of the book where one of the characters says this: ‘The sheet of paper was spotted with tears, the ink streaked with moisture.’ This is going to be a sad post. In fact I’m already crying, and I haven’t even really started yet.
On Wednesday night, Glass House lost one of our own. Sonya Craig, one of our incredible authors, made the decision to take her own life, and took her bright, gorgeous light right out of the world. I found out early Thursday morning, and had to … had to literally pick myself up off the floor, try to put the world back on its feet, and let the rest of our gang know.
If you’ve ever been through a suicide, you know how horrible that was. If you haven’t, I pray to everything holy in the universe that you never have to experience it. Suicide is, at its base, tragic. Horrifying. It rips you apart and leaves you utterly confused about what could possibly have gone wrong. It leaves you questioning everything. And I mean everything. Because at the end of the day, you just don’t know. You don’t have an answer to the one, most important question: why.
Here’s what I do know. Sonya was brilliant. She was a shining star that you come across once in a lifetime. She was, hands down, one of the smartest people I’ve ever met. She was an artist, and incredibly funny. She had some of the best snark in the house. She did sketches for us when we were down, and posted animal videos like a madwoman. She loved her cat—possibly a little too much—and bragged about her daughters. She had an incredibly large heart, and a social conscience that just wouldn’t quit. She was one of those people that you talked to and came away thinking … that person is so deep, and I’ve only just begun to touch the surface. Her GH code name (yes, we have them, because we’re awesome) was The Mustang, because she had a car that she just wouldn’t stop talking about. Sonya’s writing was the sort that lifted you right out of the real world, and threw you into whatever story she wanted to tell you. Her gifts were … too many to name. I wouldn’t do it justice.
We talked very often, about everything and anything. Politics. The art of writing. The publishing industry. Our lives. And we talked about depression and personality disorders. My depression and personality disorders. And the issues of people we knew and loved and wanted to help. I never knew she struggled with depression—she never told me. I like to think I would have helped, if I’d known. I like to think I could have helped, if I’d known. But the rational side of me—the side that tells me I really shouldn’t finish that entire bottle of wine or eat ice cream at midnight or try to do things that I could have done when I was twenty-one and probably can’t do anymore—knows that even if she’d told me, there probably wouldn’t have been anything I could do. That wasn’t the role she’d given me, and I know myself well enough to know that I might not have been a big or strong enough person, even if she had. I would have tried. Oh man, how I would have tried.
But maybe I was playing the role she needed me to play. Maybe GH was her family that didn’t know she was sick, and didn’t treat her with kid gloves. Maybe she’d cast us in the roles she wanted of us.
The other thing I know is this: Sonya protected us all, up to the very end. She didn’t involve us in the confusion and pain and darkness that she was facing. Because, as I said, she had a heart big enough to save the world. And although she might not have known how to take care of herself, I think she was taking care of the rest of us, right up until she decided to leave.
That doesn’t make it any easier. Or any less confusing. But it’s what I’m going to keep telling myself, because it fits the Sonya I knew and loved.
GH is reeling right now, and none of us really knows how to react. But we’re still going to publish her first book, in her honor, and for her family to have and hold. We have to work out details—and a plan!—before we start, but I’ve promised her that I would do it, and wherever she is, I’m sure she’s tapping her foot and asking me exactly how/when/where/why it’ll happen. And what her cover is going to look like. We’re not going to let her down. So keep your eyes peeled for news about that.
And now the preachy part of this blog (come on, you knew it was coming). Suicide and depression are monsters that no one can beat alone. No one. If you or anyone you know (now I feel like the message at the end of a TV show about suicide, but wait a second, I’m going to change it up) is depressed, or considering suicide … reach out. I promise you’re no more alone than anyone else in this world. And I promise that there are ways for other people to help. Even if you don’t see it, there are. There are lots and lots of people out there who love you, and will give their last breath to save you. There are people who want to hold your hand and help you get onto a path that leads to a brighter place.
And if you can’t think of anyone like that, if you can’t imagine anyone loving you that much, get in touch with me. GH’s Twitter is always on, and our FB page is always accepting messages. If you don’t have anyone else to reach for, reach for me. And we’ll figure something out. Because every single one of us deserves that chance—the chance to live, and the chance to help others do the same.
Be well, friends. And live your life. Buy the shoes. Eat the cheesecake. Take the trip. Reach out to people. Laugh. Go outside after your neighbors have watered their lawns and inhale the smell of wet dirt and grass. Go pet puppies. Fly a kite. I’m staggering along right now, trying to get over the loss of a brilliant and beautiful person in my life, and I will fight to my dying breath to keep from losing anyone else.
I know, how dramatic. But seriously. Live. Laugh. I’m making you all promise.