I saw Nicolette when I was up in New England in the fall.
Now she’s dead.
I don’t know any details beyond that her neighbor found Nicolette (also known as Kate) in a pool of blood in her apartment.
Our mutual friend Jenn called me from work; we had both been talking with Nikky a lot during the last few months (She absolutely hated to be called Nikky, but it’s how we knew her as children). The last time I talked with her, she was going back to the Kate name, but she didn’t mind being called Nicolette either.
Nicolette had lost her mom recently. She was burdened with fibro-myalsia and terrible headaches. She was also bipolar and didn’t always have a sense of other people’s needs and boundaries. Sometimes I had to step back a bit, or not answer the phone. She could be very demanding without realizing it.
She could also be very fun. We “got” each other.
As kids, we fought a lot, but as women, we made each other laugh. It was amazing to see her – it had been so many years. We had been in touch again for a couple of years, and were talking often. I don’t remember anything so much out of the norm… but there had been a point where I had to set some basic limits on the length and frequency of the conversations.
I can’t believe this is happening.
I sent an email to her (maybe a week or so ago, I don’t remember) because I hadn’t heard from her lately. That was unusual, and I wanted to make sure that she was doing all right. She didn’t respond to it. She always responds to email. I should have followed up with a phone call. I knew that I should have, and I don’t know why I didn’t.
I guess it’s possible that she was murdered, but I would be very surprised if it wasn’t a suicide.
What is most shocking to me is that she wouldn’t have sent out a mass goodbye. It isn’t like her not to have had her final say. She was the most vigorously opinionated woman I have ever known.
We had developed a mutual respect after many years of debating. In the last few years, we were more often on the same side than not (especially with regard to politics), but we would still find something to debate because it was fun.
I should have called her. I am trying not to take to heart the irrational guilt that I feel. I know that it’s hubristic to think that ultimately it would have made a difference if I had called her, but I can’t help thinking that I failed her.
I can’t believe she’s dead. I can’t believe it.