It’s Friday, my friend. And I can’t ask, as I used to every morning, but I know you slept better than I did last night. I spent last night in my closet drinking wine and reading through your journals you left in my care. I’m glad you did because I still have that piece of you with me. But at the same time reading through it all makes me sad. Or maybe it was the wine.
This all sucks. This is wrong. It isn’t fair. What the fuck kind of reality is this- a reality sans the strongest, bravest, funniest, badass, most beautiful person inside and out? Surely if there is a person worth saving, that’s the one. Right? That’s the person who is meant to be here, to show us all that it can be done. That you can be given insurmountable odds and not only overcome them but do so with two mighty middle fingers held high in the air, laughing as what was supposed to be your fate disappears beyond the horizon behind you.
And yet here I am, eyes red from crying and a massive wine hangover headache and I’m not going to be meeting you for our Friday lunch. And I would do just about anything to be going about my daily life knowing that my best friend in the world is typing up her latest raw, venomous, hilarious post, tweet, or text. Just about anything. But that’s not how this world works, is it? Nothing we can do. Nothing to say either, except…this sucks! So many times each day I have to remind myself to take a deep breath, I can keep it together, I can get through this. But it’s so hard! Because she used to do that for me. It all sucks.
One morning after stopping treatment G told me what she was really struggling with the the fact that she knew this past New Years was her last. And I told her it sucked, because it did, and there really wasn’t anything else. She responded, “I am glad you are here, because you will say that it sucks.” And it does suck. That’s it; it sucks. There’s nothing that makes it any easier. And if nothing anyone can say makes it any easier, then what are we supposed to do with all these words? What am I to do with her words. Words can’t bring her back. Words can’t heal the unimaginable heartbreak that her loss has left. Words can’t fix this.
Then why am I typing? I’m typing because she asked me to. But why else? Grace did not blog because she thought it would fix the problem. She blogged to help herself deal with the problem. And she did so in the only way she knew how: uninhibited, void of filters, unrefined in the best way possible, and with a level of strength, bravery, and humor that made a lot of us wonder if she was indeed actually a real human being. By the way, let’s get one damn thing straight here: she was indeed actually a real human being. Through all of this, she was real. She wasn’t strong and brave because this was thrown at her. She’s always been brave and strong. And stubborn, too. She’s been stubborn as shit for as long as I’ve known her, and she was all the way through the end. She wasn’t going to let go unless it was on her own terms, taking everything as a challenge and determined to prove you wrong. To be honest, that’s probably why she stuck around as long as she did. There were a couple times when she was given some pretty bleak prognoses and could have given up her fight. But she just said, “Nope! Not ready,” lowered her shoulder, and barreled through another wall. Sometimes, though, there’s only so much an actual real human being can do.
I really didn’t want to use this blog post to recap Grace’s journey. If you knew her, you know her journey, you witnessed her pain and her bravery. You know how amazing she was. If you knew her you have probably surmised that if anyone could have dealt with the circumstances she endured in the manner in which she did, it was her. She had always been amazing. She was always there when you needed her, with a card ready if necessary… usually one with a really good joke inside. She loved taking care of people and knew exactly what everyone needed.
Once, when she was feeling down, she decided she would make everyone else around her feel better, so she delivered flowers and cards to all of her friends. Just left them on everyone’s porches to cheer everyone up. She made up games for all of us to play where we picked two people a week to deliver small gifts to just to make someone’s day. She made mixed CDs for us, planned meals, made trinket crafty gifts. She organized days where we made jars filled with fun heartfelt sayings for sick friends to make them feel better even when she was ill because that is what she did! On more than one occasion, G helped me deal with heartbreak. Shitty thing is now my heart is more broken than ever, and she’s not here to make me mix CDs, send me cards and flowers and make inappropriate jokes about ABS (angry bowel syndrome) and just be here. And it sucks!
Things I will forever miss: singing everything in four-part harmony, “theme” parties, her queso, Friday lunches, inappropriate jokes, drinking wine, drinking martinis, drinking margaritas, drinking, picking out little gifts she would find funny, texting, sarcasm, watching movies, her humor, her laugh, scary movies, haunted houses, vacations, being a fake family, her smile. To call G a “friend” is completely inadequate to describe our relationship. “Sister” feels closer, but there isn’t (or wasn’t) a word for what she was to me. I loved her as much, if not more, than any natural family member.
I keep thinking about how brave G was. How scared she must have been. How she braved everything that came her way. She didn’t deserve so much of what she had to endure. The brave shouldn’t die.
I will be working on getting together some semblance of order to all of her journals. I have two boxes full. If anyone has anything you think you might want to add, you can email me: email@example.com.
It isn’t wholeness that brings people together. At least that wasn’t the case for us.