It’s funny how life is. You can reach the pinnacle of happiness and then it all comes crashing down. When I went to bed on Sunday night, I had over 1,500 subscribers. On Monday morning, I found out my dearest friend had died. I dissolved into tears. It was a complete shock. Her death was sudden and unanticipated. She left behind so many people who considered her family, even though we weren’t related by blood.
The entire day I was plunged into deep sadness. The hardest part was the thought that I would no longer talk to her over the phone each weekend. And there would be no more emails sharing videos of my mischevious Siamese cat Henry (who likes to steal the sponge out of my dishwasher) or photos of my grand puppies and grandcats.
I still can’t quite intellectually grasp that she has passed away. Did you ever feel like you have a hole in your heart? That’s how I feel when I remember she is gone. Forever. I loved this woman so much. My children considered her a grandmother. She brought pure sunshine into our life.
And I admired her. After she retired, she volunteered at her local hospital. She adopted a stray cat named Sandy who showed up at her door each morning. She helped countless friends through painful episodes in their lives. I won’t get a Valentines card in February. I won’t see a movie with her. I won’t ever get another phone call or email. I just feel sad. And I know the only way to plow through my grief is to feel it. I can’t ignore it, bury it or postpone it.
So I am writing this letter now to thank my friend for loving me. “Keep the best memories closest” was the advice I was given by another girl friend. And so I will remember my friend holding my wiggling Siamese kittens in her lap. I will picture her singing at the Christmas concert at Strathmore. I will remember how it felt when she hugged me.
The poet Mary Oliver wrote that “I think of each life as a flower, as common as a field daisy, and as singular.”
My friend was singularly special.