Editor’s Note: This is Part Two of a Three-Part Series. Click here to read Part One.

LAUREL CANYON—As expected, Tara’s mother contacted me that Saturday morning, but our conversation didn’t go as expected.

She asked if I was with Tara and I told her that I wasn’t but had been expecting her call.

We were both confused, as it was Tara had apparently predicted the future. The hospital contacted her to be with Tara when she was discharged that Friday. But no one had seen her since Friday at 3:00 p.m..

Panic began to set in.

We were concerned this had something to do with her husband, understanding his controlling and abusive nature. We thought he had done something.

He behaved oddly when he picked-up Tara’s parents from the airport and drove them to the Wilshire Crest Inn before speeding off to some Hollywood party and leaving the rest of us look for her.

We went through all of her favorite hiking trails, hung posters, sent emails, posted on social media, frantically scouring everywhere she could possibly be.

Tara and friends strike a fierce pose.

Monday morning, we discovered that her Jeep had been towed just a block away from the hotel her parents were staying in. Further investigation led us to the discovery that an unidentified female was at the morgue. At 1:30pm, Tara’s step-father identified her body.

As he broke the news to me, I felt consumed by a dark evil poison, one that filled me with contempt. My legs were weak, my mind was numb. Nothing was ever going to be the same.

It was my fault and no one knew. I felt the life of me was immediately sucked out of my body. Her suicide was my secret and my secret killed her.

At first, they hid the details from me. I spent the next few weeks counting floors on the buildings I randomly passed. They had told me it was a 17-floor building on Wilshire Boulevard. Every building I saw, I counted: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 8, 10.

Nope, that’s not tall enough. I’d find a taller building: 2, 3, 4, 7, 15, 20. Nope, that’s too high. Then, I’d find a shorter one.

I confided in my dad. I asked him what was wrong with me. Why couldn’t I stop counting building levels?

My dad, calm as always said, “Why don’t you ask for more details and let them know you are mature enough to hear it?”

This might put my mind at ease.

I followed his advice.

Tired of counting the floors of tall building on Wilshire Boulevard, I asked my dad for help.

She had been released from Cedars Sinai at 2:00 p.m. on Friday and had been dropped-off at Elizabeth’s house. She left Bailey there, the water running the rug turned up and messy, behavior very unlike Tara.

She drove her Jeep to the corner of Crescent Heights and Wilshire. She entered 6300 Wilshire Boulevard shortly before 4pm.

The front desk secretary, working through her first day on the job, asked Tara if she needed help. She was trembling and looked unsure of herself.

She shook her head and headed for the elevators. The cameras show her taking the elevator, getting off at the top floor, and then walking towards the roof.

The law firm in the adjacent building saw her body fall from the roof.

Her parents were staying at a hotel just 500 feet from where she died. Her Jeep sat just a block away from where we were actively searching for her.

Depression and suicide had never hit me until that fateful day. I was somewhere between catatonic and hysterical. That was the first time I had ever cried so uncontrollably. They phoned my dad and he took me home to the comforting arms of my mother.

Complete disbelief.

How could someone put all their faith into one person? Then, when that person betrayed them, end their own life? It didn’t make sense.

But how could I judge her husband for his betrayal? I had done the same thing. She put her faith in me by telling me these details and I betrayed her by keeping her secrets.

My suicidal secret killed her.


Read Part Three, Suicide is Contagious.