Last Saturday, a friend of mine passed away. She was 42. We became friends when we were 13. I still haven’t been able to fully comprehend.
We double-dated to Homecoming, Courtwarming, Prom. I went to Worlds of Fun her inaugural weekend of being a dancing panda. We rode together in her red escort. Windows down, music up. She helped me pull off all four of my 30th birthday parties. I hosted the shower for her first baby. We took a long trip to San Diego and LA together when we were 29. Windows down, music up. We attended each others’ weddings. We knitted together and scrapbooked together. We laughed so much. Our lives intertwined together.
Because of my introversion and generally unrelenting awkwardness, I don’t have a lot of connection to my past. I don’t have friends from college, I had maintained just one friendship from high school. She was this beautiful thread through my life, tethering me to a place and a time as we both created families and worked.
And now she is dead. We had been out of touch the last few years, but not out of each others’ hearts. We e-mailed every couple of months, just to remind each other that although we weren’t in touch, we still thought of each other. A few months ago, the company she worked for folded, so she was looking for a new job. We were strategizing to bring her to the company where I work. The possibility of that always made me smile. Now it makes me so sad.
I really, really don’t want her to be dead. I feel lost. She was one of the best people I have ever known.
When things like this happen, I guess it is natural to reevaluate. I have to strengthen existing friendships or make a new one. Because there is this giant, painful hole. Both mental and palpable. I am not sure where to start – how to move past this constant desire to not have her be dead. I have rejoined facebook. It drives me crazy because I hate conflict and that tenuous line between bragging and sharing, but if I had been on facebook, Laurie and I would have been more connected. I don’t know if that is the right place to start. But I am lost. I am in search of something I will never find.