Today is the 16th of August, my friend Jennifer’s birthday. She would have been 24 today, but she committed suicide when she was 15.

I had known her since we were about six years old — we went to the same schools & lived in the same suburb. We used to catch the bus together & copy one another’s maths homework (it was always wrong). As we got older she became this really awesome, beautiful, rebellious girl. She was tall & sassy & she had this fantastic way of walking, where she would bounce off the balls of her feet with every step. She had brown doe eyes & a beauty mark on her shoulder. She couldn’t spell but she drew hilarious comics about the teachers we disliked. I remember a sleepover at her house where she & I played practical jokes on the other girls all night. & I remember her 10th birthday, where she had a big chocolate cake with the numbers ’10’ dusted on in icing sugar.

I don’t know what else I can say. Things always get better. My life has improved in about ten million ways since I was 15, & all my friends feel the same way. Being a teenager sucks sometimes & everyone knows it. (Don’t pay any attention to those awful people who tell you that these are “the best days of your life”, it’s rubbish.) Life improves, life improves, life improves. I know it can be hard to see at times, but it does, I promise you.

If you’re depressed, PLEASE tell someone about it, go & see a doctor, try EFT, go on holiday — just do something. If your friend seems suicidal, PLEASE talk to them, or their parents or a teacher, or go with them to a counsellor, or make a point of taking them on adventures all the time. Just get them out of their own head, give them lots of kisses, tell them you love them.

I miss her terribly & think of her often. Please look after yourselves.