Monday, October 19, 2015

Until We Meet Again, Dear Friend

Just over a week ago, I lost one of my closest friends, and the world lost a wonderful woman all too early in life. At first, I wasn't going to write a post about this. After all, her passing is about her, and her family, especially her husband and children. Not about me. But earlier today, I remember something she told me the last time I saw her two weeks ago. She told me that she loves reading my blog, that she was my "silent follower". Then we laughed together at how potentially creepy that sounded. Still, I knew what she meant. She didn't always comment on my posts, or even mention them when she saw me, but she'd often "coincidentally" send me a thinking of you text right after I'd published a blog about a difficult time or tough bout with my depression.  She mentioned at this last visit that she particularly loved the tribute I'd written to my dog Cinn when she'd passed away two months ago, how she'd read it over and over. She said to me, "you could be a famous writer," and, while I'm not sure I feel quite as confident about my writing ability, I know she meant it wholeheartedly. That's just the type of person she was. So it occurred to me that she wouldn't see my writing about her, what she meant to me, and what her loss has meant to so many people, as a selfish act at all. She'd see it as a way to honor her, all that she was during her life, and all that she'll continue to be to us here. And so Lizzard, this post is for you.

I met Lizz when we were 19 on an impromptu and, at the time, uncharacteristic visit to a spa to get my hair cut. Lizz was a relatively new stylist, and I think I petrified her by confidently asking her to chop off virtually all of my elbow length hair. I remember her cutting it inch by inch, asking after each cut if I was sure I wanted to continue. (For the record, she did indeed end up cutting about 10 inches off my hair and, thanks to her styling prowess, it looked amazing).

Over the years we became close, and I trusted her not only as my hair stylist, but as a valued friend. We "double dated" with our boyfriends, and then our husbands when they became such.  We went to each others' weddings, and I attended her baby showers. We had lunch dates and girls nights out. When things got rough in my marriage, she was one of our only "couple" friends to stay tried and true during my divorce. We shared jokes, stories, triumphs, fears, worries. We were each others' confidants, understanding what each other went through when others couldn't.

Lizz, you were so many things to so many people, and we will miss you more than we can say. We will miss your laugh, your smile, your care and concern. We'll miss the way you made us feel beautiful inside and out. We'll miss the way you would text just to say that you were thinking of us and that you valued our friendship. I think you may be my only friend that routine did that. I'll miss laughing with you about Theodore Pickles. Or the time you blanked on my ex-husband's name and called him, "what's his name,". Years later, we still laughed about that Or you singing "Ain't Nothin' Gonna Break My Stride" and dancing along as we walked the 3 Day for the Cure; us sprinting the last hundred meters on Day 1 as a storm suddenly hit, getting absolutely soaked in the process. Or that picture from after we crossed the finish line on Day 3, where upon further scrutinzation, we realized you were accidentally giving everyone the finger. We laughed forever at that.  I'll miss how you'd see that I was happy about something and say that it made your day. I remember the last time I saw you, you told me how it had made your week that I had adopted a new dog and looked happy with her.  I'll remember that when I needed to tell someone something - good, sad, exciting, worrisome, funny - that you were always there. There are so many things this past week that I've thought: You know who I should talk to about this about this... and then realized that I can't.

I know that you are not really gone. Not for good. You will be here guiding your children every step of the way as they grow, even though they cannot see you. You will be a support to friends, who always turned to you, and will still ask your advice. You will be right next to each of us as we move through life, flashing into our minds when we least expect it, with your brilliant smile and laugh and the joy you brought to everyone. And I know that's a lot to do. But I also know you like to keep busy and that it's in your nature to care for everyone, and so I'll ask you one favor from down here. Watch over my Cinny for me, will you? She takes very little work and she's a great companion, but despite all the fun I'm sure she's having with her doggy friends over there, she probably misses her mama. So if you could just keep an eye on her that would mean so much. Until we are all together again and I can hug you both once more.


  1. So sorry for your loss. You have had a rough year!

    1. Thank you very much. It hasn't been an easy year (I had another friend pass suddenly and unexpectedly a week and a half after Lizz), but I know their loved ones are going through so much more, and have tried to instead focus and helping them get through these times. But yes, I really am ready for 2015 to be done! :-)