Last night, just as we sat down to eat, the phone rang.
It was one of my oldest friends and he called to tell me that one of his daughters had died on May 25th.
And what do you say? And what do you do?
I cried. I cried as he told me how it had gone. She'd had a cancer, one of those cancers that is really hard to treat and yet treat it they had done. She'd gone through everything and there had been ups and downs and there had been hopes and there had been, of course, the fear of the unthinkable and then the unthinkable had happened and he called to tell me.
There's so much I could say. So much I could say about this friend and his place in my life and how the course of my life has had much to do with his presence in it. I've written about him many times here and he and his wife and I have stayed in touch over the years. They had four kids, I've had four kids, and usually, once a year we manage to get together and catch up, at least a little bit. Careers and grandkids and the stuff life throws at you and all of it. The huge, whole random gift and grit of it all. And when their daughter got diagnosed, that was the hardest thing to hear, until last night.
There's so much I could say but none of it would help make any sense of any of it. So I won't even try. I'll just say that I cried a lot and that I love my friends a lot and that my husband held me last night and let me cry and his sorrow was vast for them too. I did the only vaguely religious ritual I ever do, which is to light a candle. It will burn for seven days.
We are stardust (quite literally) and some of us are golden.
This girl was. That's what her daddy said to me last night. "She was pure, solid gold."
Light. Love. I would say we go on, but sometimes we just don't. Eventually all of us will return to stardust in a more earthy form but sometimes that seems to happen way too early.
And so it was with this dear girl.
And there's nothing I can say to make that any better.