Monday, June 3, 2013

The Worst Sort Of News

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.


  1. Tearful blessings to you and yur dear friends in this time of we do struggle at these times of letting go, ah and that struggle is so important somehow...rainbows and flowers to you all.

  2. Perhaps the powers that be take the very good ones early before they can be tainted.

  3. I am sorry to hear of your friend's daughter's death. It's just horrible -- now matter how you spin it. Horrible. I do send you loving thoughts and hope that they will be comforted in some way.

  4. I am sorry for your friend's loss. To lose anyone we love is hard. To lose a child, I cannot imagine. My heart goes out to you all.

  5. I'm so sorry. Unimaginable. How can things that happen all the time be beyond imagining.

  6. That gave me the goosebumps. It sounds like a candle needs to be lit, and I'm glad you did it.

    I dont understand anything in the world, I swear.

  7. damn that hurts...such profound sorrow. I wonder how we can possibly live through it, wake in the morning, put one feeble foot in front of the other...
    we do somehow even if we wish we wouldn't.

  8. It looks like the cardinal is standing vigil over the candle, which for some reason I find reassuring. Wishing you all grace and peace in this terrible time.

  9. This suck more than anything that has ever sucked in the entire history of sucking.

  10. This is so sad. I am sorry to all those who loved her. Sweet Jo

  11. I am so sorry for your loss, for their loss. This is heartbreaking. No adequate words.

  12. What a terrible loss for those who loved her. And a loss beyond comprehensible for the parents. So very sad.

  13. Big Mamabird- Well, the suffering is not mine, really except that I wish like hell I could do something about my friends' suffering. I doubt seriously they're going to be feeling any rainbows any time soon but that's a nice thought.

    Ellen Abbott- Maybe. I don't really believe in the Powers That Be but I could be so very wrong.

    Elizabeth- You are always a comfort to me.

    Kelly- It really is the unthinkable.

    Maggie May- I know. I know. I know. You are so right.

    SJ- This is why I constantly say that I do not know shit.

    Ms. Yo- I think you have it right there at the end- even if we do not really want to.

    Mama D- That cardinal and his partner are always standing watch on that mantel. I love them. They comfort me for sure, the cheap silly little things.

    Nancy- And I know you know better than any of us. I love you, woman.

    Sweet Jo- Oh. Me too!

    Angella- It's the truth. None.
    But thank you for leaving me some because that means something very dear to me.

    May- Oh girl. I love you so much. SO much.

    Syd- I know it. It's one thing when death comes after a long, long life. Something completely different when it comes so early.

  14. Damn. It is the worst king of news. It isn't natural. It's out of order to hear of families separating this way. You know I know. Not as your friend--a parent--does, but you know I know. And I'm sorry they have to live through that and walk in this new normal.

  15. Gradydoctor- I thought of you and your post about inertia and how when you really love a friend, you keep it going and how we've kept this friendship going and that means your heart can get torn in two and it means you keep it so very, very real. Yes. I thought about all of that.

  16. I am so very sorry to hear such bad news. Wishing you peace.

  17. Oh my. I'm so sorry to hear this news, and sorry that you and especially your friends are enduring this sorrow.

  18. Denise- I have awoken today to a most peaceful world. I am glad to be in it.

    Steve Reed- I don't know how. I swear.

  19. Oh honey. I am so sorry. My heart hurts for them and for you, hurting for your friends. I love your candle ritual. I wish I had lit one for my grandmother. Perhaps I still will, I have that same Lady of Guadalupe candle, and ours will burn together.

  20. Fucking cancer.

    I'm so sorry for your friends' loss.


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