A couple of months ago, I woke up to the news that one of my oldest friends had passed away. I remember it was super early and I fumbled for my phone in the dark to check the time. You know that desperate ‘please let me have a few more hours’ plea you make when you went to bed late and you knew better but the Wi-Fi was so nice at 1am. My too bright device informed me it was about 5am and I rejoiced at another hour and a half of loving from my bed.
That’s when I saw a message notification from her sister and was curious as to what she’d message me about in the middle of the night. I remember now thinking I’d check it later and I put my phone back on the table next to my warm comfy haven. But my thoughts wouldn’t settle, so I thought I’d just fiddle with my phone. I read the message over and over for a few minutes. I couldn’t reply. But the more people responded I knew I had to say something. I think I said something short. Then I called another one of my besties. I don’t think we talked. I just cried.
I sat in the corner of my bed and rocked myself. It was a quiet weeping. It was also really just denial. I got out of bed, showered and got dressed because I figured I needed to do normal life things or I’d lose it. In my bath towel, seated on the floor, (my bath sheet is white mind you) I called my mother.
I hardly ever call my mother. She’s one of those no-news-is-good-news people. She’s very practical like that. So when I called her at 7am on a Tuesday morning she answered her phone in a bit of a panic. I got the words out. She called me a liar. I cried some more. Please note, my mom doesn’t like tears but was blessed with a daughter whose tears are just so easy. My water works rendered her helpless. She soothed me and gave me instructions. I carried them out like a good soldier.
After calling two other friends, I steeled myself and went to work. Baaaaaaaad idea. Fast forward two days and I was in a plane trying (and failing miserably) to get the chattiest woman I know to just. Stop. Talking. To. Me. I mean, I had earphones on and I was holding about 4 packets of Kleenex. How did she not get the message?
It’s been a rough couple of months.
2 or so weeks ago I woke up missing my friend. I wanted to be close to her so jumped out of bed, took a shower and hopped on a train to her favourite beach. On the way there I remember sitting with my feet on the seat and staring out the window, thinking about what we’d take about when I got there. I’d tell her my hair was healthy but the salon ladies keep trying to make me relax it. I also wanted to tell her the boy who hurt my heart didn’t need the hernia I ordered- God was fixing me. She would laugh and tell me it was too late. I figured I’d tell her it’s okay that she’s gone because she was fine where she was and at least I could always come here and catch her up.
I didn’t make it. When the train pulled up to the station, I exited the carriage, but I couldn’t leave the platform. It hurt too hard. All the water in the ocean couldn’t wash away the ache. I didn’t want to walk down the strip and talk to myself. I wanted her. Here. I sat cross legged on the opposite platform and caught the next train back.
Tomorrow is her birthday. She’d have told me not to get her anything-I asked her every year and the answer was always the same. She’d have said something wise and witty and we’d have chuckled. We’d have then made plans to play in the sun. It would have been lovely.
It hasn’t stopped hurting. Grief is a cruel thing because it lies to you about what time does. But tomorrow is like a time capsule, the one day set aside where I MUST be happy for you because well we’ve scratched bridesmaid duties off our list. I’ll smile.
Happy birthday Sunshine. Let your light sprinkle a little joy upon us for a day. Because the day after, we’ll be sad again.
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