I imagine she must have made the decision weeks ago. Probably, she'd had it in her mind for a long time. It must have swirled there, melting into sorrow, curling alongside desperation, connecting to a decision. It swam through her mind as an option, an action. It would take some planning, she apparently thought. Confessions, phone calls, apologies. A certain amount of scheduling and mapping out.
She chose a location.
She left a note.
At some point after her parents left the ranch that day, she walked to the stock tank, gun in hand. I don't know if she dipped her toe in and shivered at the cold, momentarily stalling her from her mission, or if she walked straight in, not bothering to register the temperature or the wild muck of the water saturating her clothes. I do know that she kept going. She wanted to disappear, she wanted to be sure.
I imagine that when she put the gun beneath her chin and pulled the trigger, the sound cracked through the weeping sky. A blue heron was startled, leapt from a tree branch, perhaps screeched before taking high and broad wing. A flock of birds fluttered in confusion across the sky. Somewhere, someone wondered What was that? The cattle jolted to attention, surprised, perhaps turned their heads in the direction. But the sound had sliced across the horizon by then. Seeing nothing, they returned to their grazing. A warm breeze blew across the grass, a few low hanging leaves were lifted. The sun reflected golden on the ripples circling outward across the water. Silence flooded the land again. The clouds moved, the earth sighed.
The facts are these: A woman took her life yesterday. Her body was found today. A family is broken, parents' lives shattered. Depression is a dark place and suicide a desperate option. I've heard it said that suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem. For those left behind, suicide is a permanent heartache. There is help, there is always help. 1-800-273-8255 (National Suicide Prevention Lifeline)