Words from a friend
Still here. Doing some grieving.
I have no regrets in my friendship with Dalina. We said the things we wanted to say. We spent the time together we needed to spend. I am at peace with that. But, what I hadn’t realized then was what a huge part of my life she had become. Now that she’s gone, it’s clear. The gap is huge. I am without one of my go-to people. I know that because I’ve wanted to go to her so many times with my thoughts over the past weeks.
You see, even though Dalina was the sick one, we needed each other. The timing for our friendship was perfect, brought together to go through life in some big storms. But the timing of her death was less than perfect, far from it. I cling to the hope that I will understand one day and I think that will happen.
One of the things that has helped me get through the last several days was something that Dalina said to me on the day she died. That morning, as I sat by her bed, it was clear the end was near. Although we had talked about death quite a bit, we had never gone as far as saying goodbye. Truthfully, the last 6 months had felt like one long goodbye. So, I sat there thinking. What do I say now? So, I choked out the only thing I could.
“I’m really going to miss you.”
She whispered back in a barely audible voice, “I’ll miss you too.”
She also said something that I wasn’t prepared for. She looked at me and said, “I’m sorry.” Sorry?! I couldn’t believe she said that to me. Sorry? She had fought the fight! She had suffered enough! She had been a loyal friend! She kept the faith! I couldn’t handle it then. I covered it up as fast as I could. “No, no.” I said. “Don’t be sorry, please.” Nothing to be sorry for. I wanted her to be at peace and free. I hated that she was apologizing for this.
Two weeks later.
It’s been such a lonely road. My thoughts revisit that last day often. And a few days ago, her words greeted me again. “I’m sorry.” And this time, it made sense. I was overcome with a deep sense of care and concern from my friend, even in her absence. I realized she knew it was going to be a hard go for those of us who loved her. Grieving is a slow process that requires pain at times, joy at others. And so as a last act of friendship she reached out to let me know she cared. She knew it would be hard. She wouldn’t be here to listen.
I carry that moment now as encouraging words in the hard times. Just knowing my friend was loving me, even in her last hours, gives me a boost. Fills that gap. Nothing can make the sadness go away, but it is sure nice to know I am not alone.