The phone call shook me.
I’d had a warning this week that things weren’t good. That the disease my friend had fought so valiantly against had taken its toll…that she was slipping faster than many of us had realized.
But the phone call…mere days after I’d realized what was happening…shook me to the core.
My body immediately hurt. Every nerve. Every pore. Every single piece of me…felt.
There’s not much you can do when you lose a friend. You’re left searching for meaning…for things to make sense. But there’s nothing you can do.
Thoughts keep entering your head as you try to push them away…wondering how she felt…her fears…her pain. The emotion of it likely far greater than the physical. Saying good-bye when there’s so much left to do…so much left to live.
The emptiness. The unfairness. The cruelty of it.
I have few words right now…there’s just great loss. Thoughts continue to fill my head…my own fears mixed with sudden understanding of hers as I try desperately to push them away.
Yesterday…I spent time with a friend who immediately arrived at my door. We watched this wee little bird land near our feet and there was something so beautiful about it…both of us realizing it at the exact same moment. I went to the barn and touched the velvet nose of my daughter’s horse as he nuzzled against me…somehow feeling me…understanding me. I listened to my daughter sing as we drove down the highway with the realization of having never really “listened” to her before…how beautiful her voice was with each high note she hit. I visited my parents…melting into the embrace of my father as he told me how sorry he was. I curled up on the couch with my mom. I celebrated my nieces birthday…I ate the cake and drank the wine…lifting my glass momentarily to toast my friend. I spent time with my family….my youngest two, not completely knowing how to help me except to be there…my oldest, connecting with me throughout the day…sending her love.
Everything felt like “more”…my body and mind on high alert…wanting…needing to feel everything there is to feel including the pain and discomfort that continued to sweep over me.
Life…this amazing journey…is too fragile. We live each day just going from one thing to the next not realizing the enormity of it all until it hits us…that it can all disappear.
I know I’m making little sense. My mind is racing a thousand miles an hour trying to put into order everything that’s mixed up. Yesterday I lost a beautiful friend. Those closest to her are reeling and spinning in great discomfort. Nothing fits or feels right at the moment.
I went through photos looking at so many celebrations through the years and various parties and oddly…she’s in so very few of the pictures and yet I see her sitting at my kitchen table, dancing in my family room…laughing in my front hall as clear as if it were today.
I will miss her smile most of all.
Her warmth. Her pleasant disposition.
The way her mouth moved when she spoke.
I will miss running into her at the rink…chatting about hockey and friendships and children and life. I will miss just knowing she’s there but there are other’s who will miss her every single moment and for them…I grieve.
Life has a way of slapping us in the face every now and then.
Lately, I’ve been so caught up in trying to run my business and chase my kids around that I’ve forgotten to live…to enjoy…to have fun. I’ve been so busy…so tired…so exhausted that I’ve not been living my best life. I’ve been going through the motions…but not really being the best I can be.
That ends now.
My friend’s life was taken from her too soon. There was too much left. There were far too many parties to attend…too many family celebrations to celebrate…too many moments with her children and husband left to be lived. Too much love left to give.
I’ve been wasteful.
I’ve not loved enough. I’ve not forgiven enough. I’ve not laughed enough or spent enough quality time with my children. I’ve not seen enough or done enough. I’ve not lived enough.
But it’s all in front of me. The important things. The people I love.
Yesterday…I learned the most valuable lesson. To live in the moment. To spend more time with the things that matter and less with the things that don’t. To live my greatest life surrounded by the people who mean the most to me. To discover new things. Feel the sunshine on my face, touch the softness of a horse’s nose, watch the wee tiny bird land at my feet, listen to the music…see all the beauty that’s around me…hold my children…and breathe.
Life is short.
I need to live more.
For my friend.
It’s all I can do.