I thought I was doing fine. I thought I had gotten my grieving for Christina “out of the way” before she even passed. I was a mess from the time she told me she was officially going ahead with her plan, to the morning I got that awful phone call from her sister. And then it all seemed to go away and I became numb to everything.
The last few days have started to make it all feel very real all of a sudden. Her mom and sister have moved out of the apartment. It’s occurred to me that someone else is going to move in and live there. Someone who will have no idea what happened there – not just towards the end, but all of the good, happy times too. They’ll never know how hard she worked to even move in there, how many hours she spent researching and talking with people who could help her get out of the nursing home. They’ll never know about the birthday parties, movie nights, dinners, and sleepovers that happened there.
I spoke with a reporter last night who is writing an article about her. He wrote a piece about her several years ago, so I suppose this is a follow-up of sorts. He was very nice and asked all the right questions and wasn’t judgmental about her decision at all, which I really appreciated. I can’t wait to read the article. However, I’ve been thinking about it today and it’s hit me that this is it. Is she going to be remembered as “Christina Symanski, the paralyzed woman who chose to end her life”? I would hate for that to happen because she was SO much more than that. I would hate for her death to define her life, but I suppose that’s what happens in situations like this. People who didn’t know her are going to read about her and form opinions and criticisms, but they won’t know the whole story. They won’t know who she was before the accident, or how things changed. They won’t know how kind and funny and giving she was. They won’t know that she didn’t like whipped cream in desserts, or that she was one of those annoying people who couldn’t stay quiet through a movie. They won’t know she was afraid of zombies, or that she couldn’t stand TV shows with laugh tracks. They won’t know what an amazing friend and daughter and sister she was.