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.
I just needed to say this tonight before I can sleep. I love you, I love you I love you and I miss you. You are forever in my heart.
Feeling sadness for my friend who left our world this yesterday. I’ve been mourning her for two weeks, since I got the call that she was transitioning. Transitioning. How I love her and how sad I am for how much time I missed with her this last year. I thought I’d have more time. How did I manage to miss it all?
Perspective is so important. Our life takes over and smothers us under huge blankets of responsibility and obligations. We occasionally lift a corner to press our lips to the fresh air and draw it in deeply before the too thick blanket of all the things that don’t really matter comes falling back over our face. Don’t let your life smother you and snuff out all the little joys you used to have time for. We sacrifice our happiness to all those distractions because, frankly, disappointing ourselves is the least of all evils. Disappointing others is much more painful. So we hunker down under that blanket that was once made of tasks and activities but is now knitted pieces of regret and resentment, and we try to remember to breathe and try to forget what it was like not to live under the blanket.
Cast off the blanket! Because no matter what that blanket is made of, if you miss out on one single important moment, it is never going to be worth it. And if you don’t believe me, take it from the lips of those who are at the end of their life. This article lists the top regrets of the dying and none of them are about having a bigger house, making more money or disappointing a boss.
I will try to honor my friend by having the best life I can and to remember to enjoy the moments, because, you have only that. Just moments. Life is short, live it the best you can. No regrets.
(When I found out my friend had passed, after a tough two weeks for everyone who loved her, I went to the beach and made a little memorial of stacked stones for her. It seemed the thing to do. The photo is found below along with the lyrics of one of Amanda Palmer’s songs Lost. When I learned my friend had days left to live I naturally fell into music. Music is my way to cope. Amanda’s music has helped me through tough times before so I went to Twitter and asked her followers tell me which song was the right song for grieving. Lost was the answer. Lost is the right answer. Because, truly, no one is lost forever. I love you Marcia. Forever.)