Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Longing for The Sixth Sense

It's been well over 2 months since J lost her battle with cancer. I still can't seem to come to terms with this fact. Rather, I can't be at rest with it.

I've been wrestling with it, pretty much all the time. Some stretches are better than others, but especially lately, with having to process yet another third party friend seemingly fading from my life, I have had a harder time processing this loss than practically any other, save my dearest friend Joe. I know she's gone. I know her suffering is over and she's in a better place. I'm not in any kind of denial, and I fancy myself a very well grounded and realistic person. So then - Why is it that I still hope to see her pretty writing on an envelope when I get my mail? Why do I still look for her when I log on to my messengers? Why is it that when something funny or strange or important happens, I immediately make a mental note that I must tell J about it?

I suppose it's human nature to feel that no matter what the circumstance, things feel unsettled when a friend dies. That it's a common condition, this haunting weight I feel that I didn't tell her I loved her enough, even though I told her every time we wrote, every time we IM'ed, every time we spoke. The letter that J was writing to me the week she died has shaken me deeper as the days have progressed since receiving it. In her final days, she was thinking of me. In her struggle and pain, she was writing a letter to ... me. And had the beautiful heart, the love of a true friend, to ask me how we were all doing here.

Several people have told me that I am so lucky and so blessed to have such a friend (true). That I must have been something very special to her. I guess I didn't realize. I knew my feelings of sisterhood were reciprocated, but I always figured I didn't mean as much to her as she did to me. We were thick as thieves for 20 years and talked about everything, yes ... but ... After all, she had so many friends. Everyone adored her. And yes, I have friends, but - so few I feel close to.

I sent her a huge bouquet of yellow roses for her 41st birthday, a few weeks before she passed. Yellow was her favorite color. She gushed forever about them and told me that no one ever sends her flowers, and that I am such a wonderful friend. Everyone knows roses are the big ripoff, but for that, the happiness they brought her, they were worth every penny. I wish I'd done more now.

Do I suffer from a kind of survivor's guilt? Is it that I simply feel unworthy? Am I hanging on to my mourning because I am ashamed at being so busy trying to be positive for her that I never figuratively drew her into me and comforted her as she was dying? And she was such a little sh*t, not letting anyone know how ill she really was until she was way ill ... Did I even really know she was actually dying, or was I simply refusing to believe that?

Did I waste my final conversation with her?

There are times that I would bet money she is right here. Right here with me. I can practically hear her voice. That kewl kannuckish Minnesota accent, smile audible, claiming something J-ish like, "That is so HANH!"

Damn. I just miss her too much.


Anonymous said...

Having lost a close friend unexpectedly last year, I've gone through this guilt-phase you're going through and understand the painfullness of it.

In time it may lessen (the guilt), but the love will never fade. Hang on to those memories you're playing over and over in your head. They'll help keep you grounded.

Love you.

Tirithien said...

When my grandfather died, I initially was stunned by one promise left unkept. I had sworn that when I petitioned the Masons, that he would be there. I was too late. He died this last April, and I'm petitioning in the fall.

Now am I guilty? No. Know why? Because he would have preferred I came to it in my own time, rather than rush due to some promise I made.

Anonymous said...

Hang in there! Just remember....."this to shal pass". I'm pulling for you and love you to death!

Memphis said...

You know, this is weird. My friend Ian just died from a brain tumor. I am an '80s metalhead. I knew Jay Stutz from 7th grade until we graduated high school. I wrote about God on the same day that you wrote about God. I started off blogging somewhat anonymous and still don't post my photo.

Too many coincidences. We must be long lost fraternal twins or something.