A good friend of mine passed away the other day. She fought a good fight, but the cancer was too much for her.
I know that death is a natural process, but the impact is still surreal. It is hard for me to put into words how I feel, but I am certain many people who have faced the same loss know what I'm talking about. There is a hollowness there. It is like the person gone was a part of a painting and someone came with some thinner and lathered it over that portion. The aftermath is just a blank zone that you can't help noticing, and feel uncomfortable with it being there.
She was a kind individual, and was always able to fearlessly say the truth about how things are - with the exception of one thing (and I'm sure you can guess what that thing is). I didn't find out about what was going on with her until she was well underway with it (she began to appear less and less). I could not admonish her for it, as much as I wanted to admonish her. I would have been a hypocrite (and she would have called me out on it). There was just this silent understanding.
I wanted to grill her about all the tribulations she had to go through for her treatments (more than the superficial details one would generally ask), but for some reason could never work up the nerve to do it. Part of me knew she'd be stubborn to a fault about it and not reveal it to me, and another part was too scared to accept what was going on - too scared to hear that it wasn't going well - that her body was failing.
In the end, I never got to say goodbye (her sister was the one who informed me), which is my second-biggest gripe. My biggest one was that I couldn't be there more for her, and that I couldn't in any way contribute to making her better beyond giving emotional support (the power of which I now ponder over). It's festering within me and distracts me so often.
Now I'm left with memories. I am finding that within my life, the only truly good things I own are my memories. They are one of the few things in this world that can actually make me feel happy, if only for a bit from time to time. It saddens me beyond imagining that I will no longer be able to create any further ones with her as a part of it.
I'll miss you...