Grief is a funny thing. It ebbs and flows. It changes you.
We just lost one of our tight circle of college kids, the first of our group to leave us. We have been friends longer than we have not.
She was a generous spirit, joyful, big-hearted, giving, a loving mother, a graceful beauty with a gorgeous smile. She had been ill for some time, but always bounced back, ever positive and so happy to see you. She hid her pain, and never wanted to burden others. I miss her.
When you lose someone you love, they say, the pain is as deep as your love for them. I know that to be true. I don’t know how to process the loss of someone with so much life yet to live, or how to comfort her children or how to move on in this world without her.
Many years ago, when I was struggling, she gave me a horseshoe necklace. She said it was for a little extra luck when I needed it, because then she would be with me. I have worn that necklace on many occasions; job interviews, new dates, when my mom was sick and on and on. Now I feel I need that luck even more, to keep her close. So I found some horseshoe trinkets and gave them to our group of friends, to her daughter, and I bought myself a diamond version of the one she gave me, to remind me of her, and her sparkling eyes.
I want to pick up the phone and call her. I saved her voicemails and when I can, I listen to them, to the love in her voice. And they break my heart a little bit more. I was so lucky to have known her, and to be loved by her.
When you say goodbye to your loved ones, remember to say I love you. Those were her last words to me, and mine to her. I am so grateful.
My friend, I will forever carry you in my heart. Love always.