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Losing My Heart

This time of year, both Dev and I tend to feel a little unsettled.  Out of sorts.  Akin to waiting for the other shoe to drop, even though the first one is still in hand.  We talk about those feelings, and we talk about why we have them.  We talk a lot about his father.  Last year, the conversations were shorter, harder, not much more than necessary.  This year, they've been far ranging and deeper.  Such is the healing process.

Part of my healing involved writing, for the first time, about some of the overall experience and disease progression with Dev's father.  I'm hoping that writing will in some small way help another.  But the process did leave me feeling more raw and vulnerable than I expected.

That was my state of mind when Dev interrupted my shower to tell me my cell phone had been ringing and ringing.  When he told me the area code of the caller, an area code from California, I knew.  I listened to the voicemail, then sat on the bathroom floor and sobbed.

My dearest friend in the world, the woman who has known me almost a quarter-century, the director who taught me not to fear the depths real acting required, the English prof who loves fantasy, the friend who lives in my heart...  Her cancer has overwhelmed her.  Her systems started shutting down Monday, and she asked to have the pain taken away.  Yesterday she was moved into hospice care.

Her heart still beats.  She is no longer consistently aware of her surroundings.  The drugs required to keep her pain-free also keep her, mostly, asleep.

In a mad rush, I started making calls to coordinate everything so I could hop a flight tomorrow morning.  Then I got in touch with a mutual friend, who met Patricia at the same time I did and has also maintained a close relationship.  Since he lives near, he has been able to be at her side in the last weeks.  He asked if I planned to come out, and I was honest.  Yes, I was planning to, but not because I needed closure on the relationship.  I was coming so she would know I love her, and will always love her.

And he said she was in the same place I was.  She didn't need closure.  She knows our friendship doesn't need closure.  She didn't need me to be there to watch her die.  She wants me to be happy she has lived.

Those words lifted a massive burden from my shoulders and put joy in my heart.  He and I spent about half an hour talking about our dear friend, about the woman who--in many ways--made us who and what we are today.  I know, deep in my heart now, that I won't regret not flying out there to visit what is left of her.  She has already moved on.  If the universe if exceedingly fortunate, she will return to again show scores of people how to be strong and gentle, wise and child-like, open-hearted and powerfully directed.

I cry because--no matter how much we talked and shared, no matter how much we did together and learned from each other--we barely polished the surface.  I rejoice because--no matter how many things we never had the chance to do, no matter how many conversations we never finished--my life and lives of so many others will shine because of her influence.

I don't need closure because our friendship will continue.  Our relationship will always influence me, guide me, and evolve as my understanding of her life expands.

I grieve because I didn't have time to give her as much as she gave me.  Eternity wouldn't be long enough for that.

I don't know why I, of all people, was blessed with her friendship. But I do know my life was touched, changed, and illuminated by a goddess of creation.

Comments

( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
queenoftheskies
Apr. 18th, 2013 02:48 am (UTC)
::HUGS:: I'm so very sorry for your loss.
sartorias
Apr. 18th, 2013 03:33 am (UTC)
I am so very, very sorry.
fwilde
Apr. 18th, 2013 02:29 pm (UTC)
Hugs, Blair. So sorry for your loss.
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )

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Blair MacGregor
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