Suicide note in my email
When you get this email you can strike me off your contact list for I will be no more. I just wanted to let you know, and wanted to tell you that our ‘friendship’ or mail relationship or whatever you might call it was really special to me. I enjoyed most of it.
I spare you explanations because, let’s face it, you are not really interested in anything or anybody but yourself. So why bother. Know what? Your blog was a real eye-opener in this respect. I think I have never met or known anyone so totally self-absorbed as you seem to be. Or, the others have concealed it better. Yes, probably that, because deep down I believe that everybody is just interested in themselves, and screw the rest.
Well, whatever, enjoy and keep well. And perhaps you might even remember this silly grumpy old German woman in Mozambique from time to time.
I received that in my email yesterday. It was attached to the second of two emails I received yesterday morning when my head was pounding with hangover toxins. The email read as follows:
I believe you may already know that Felicitas passed away yesterday, Friday. My friend G has been trying to contact all Felicitas' family and friends to give them the sad news. If you do not already know then I have to inform you of this sad fact.
Felicitas left a 'memory-stick' with personal letters to all her friends and it is my duty to send these on.
I hope you will forgive me for not writing more at the moment. I am still in shock trying to face up to losing my dear friend.
Reading about her death was shocking. Reading her opinion of me was shocking. For most of yesterday, I couldn’t get her out of my mind. I felt saddened and depressed. This is the reply I sent to her friend.
Dear A and B
It was a terrible shock to receive those emails telling me about Felicitas’s tragic death. Thank you so much for letting me know and sending me the letter she wrote me. I am very sorry that you have lost a good friend and have had to go through such a trying time in the past few days.
In the almost three years that I’ve ‘known’ her, we got to know a lot about each other and I regarded her as a good friend even though I’d never met her in person. I first got in touch with her when I was looking for information on how to get a copy of my Mozambiquan birth certificate. I found her name when I was doing an internet search for contacts in Maputo and emailed her.
At first our emails were very formal but over the space of a couple of months, they became more personal and we maintained a very regular correspondence in which we discussed all aspects of our lives. About a year after beginning our correspondence, she very kindly got copies of birth certificates for my brother and I at some expense to herself as well as time and effort. I offered to pay her but she would not accept money so I said that I'd try to visit her one day in Maputo to thank her in person. About a year ago, I was going to send her some books as a token of my appreciation but was unable to as I lost my job and was without money for a long time. Now that she has gone, how I wish that I had done that at least.
I know a lot of personal information about her as she was very open about herself and told me a lot about her past and present circumstances. So I know that she was very unhappy about her life. There were several times last year when, on discussing the possibility of my visiting Maputo, she said that I had better do it before the end of the year as it would probably be too late after that. When I asked why, she implied that she would not be alive beyond the end of the year but would not be drawn into discussing it. I tried to find out more and to tell her that she must not think that way. I really didn’t expect her to take her life but, not knowing her in real life, perhaps it is not so unexpected after all. I know that she was lonely and that she was sometimes in great pain as a result of the motorbike accident she had many years ago but there must have been much more that was troubling her than just that.
I so wish that I had been able to prevent this tragedy. I am sure that all her friends think the same way.
You will have seen that the letter she sent me was rather harsh even though it was also affectionate. Whether she is right or wrong in her assessment of me, it is sad, depressing and hurtful to think she thought of me in that way but such concerns are irrelevant now that she is gone.
I will miss her a lot as I am sure you and all her friends will.
When you have the time and have recovered from the shock of Felicitas’s death, I’d appreciate knowing a bit more about the circumstances of her death and any thoughts you have on why she chose to end her life.
Some of you may remember a post of mine from last month when I was wondering who my regular reader from Ghana was. A few weeks later, I discovered that it was Felicitas – sitemeter and neocounter identified her ISP incorrectly as being from Ghana as opposed to Mozambique. Once I realised that, I could tell when she had been reading my blog.
The only time she ever commented on the blog was when I posted some pictures of Avenida 24 de Julho in Maputo and she asked where I’d found the one picuture as it appeared to have been taken from the place she’d first lived in when she moved there in the late eighties.
She recently emailed me a lot of old pictures of Maputo from the twenties that she thought I’d like for the blog. She also emailed me the window-cleaner clip that I posted a few weeks ago when I blogged about the TV programme on the world’s biggest penis. The last time I received word from her was a few emails on February 1st. I had been enquiring how she was. This was her reply:
Grumpy, what else. My depression is getting high-grade, and getting worse each day. I drink half a (litre) bottle of whiskey a day, that doesn't help either. I feel absolutely totally completely awful.
I last emailed her 3 days ago suggesting she have a look at the picture of the Mozambique showjumping team that I’d posted that day as she used to be a keen horse rider.
There was no reply.
I wasn’t sure if I should blog about this as, in a way, it seems to confirm her opinion of me that appears to have developed from her reading of my blog. That seems especially true when you consider that I've told you how we came into contact and a bit about her state of mind but I've not really told you much about her. I can do that another time. But, whether I've validated her opinion or not, Felicitas needs an obituary and this is the best I can do.
I will miss her. A lot.