Dear Friend, I didn’t mean to go away. At the time of my whirlwind of self-involved disappointment, I missed seeing that this would be your last year. When I finally woke up from my frazzle tizzy rat-race life, I was weeks too late. You were already on your way out, one foot out the door. I would never see you again. I didn’t get to say goodbye.
When you told me of your diagnosis my heart wanted to be with you till the very end. But instead I became absent, tied too tightly to a job that demanded too much and gave so little. I let it get in the way of everything, in the way of you. And I’m so sorry.
So I talk to you in my head and I tell you I love you and say I’m sorry over and over. And I try not to be bitter or angry with myself. You were one of the best people I ever knew and I know you would never judge me. But I can’t help but wonder if you noticed my abandonment. If it hurt you. Even though I was assured by your family, I still worry that you never knew how much I loved you.
So I love you. And I will think of you in those times when I wonder about being the best mother to my children and of following my dreams. When trying to be the kindest and most affirming person I can. And, of course, while eating oatmeal.