Saturday, September 8, 2012

Raw

The world suddenly looks like a caricature when you open a Facebook message informing you that your friend is dead.

You keep waiting for someone to post the witty punchline, because that's what Facebook is for.  This is obviously a cruel practical joke.  You are angry at your friend for allowing the joke to go on this long.  Why won't she post a status update, dispelling the rumors?  Stupid Facebook.

Watching the rain that is now blowing sideways across the yard, you huddle on the phone with a mutual friend, refusing to believe, because refusal will make it not-so.  You hang up to make dinner, as if this sort of conversation happens every day, and leftover homemade pizza is the next event in the natural sequence.

But your mutual friend has connections, and she calls you again to confirm that this absurdity is real.  Together, and then again alone, you begin to gather the story, thinking that maybe it will make more sense once you have all of the pieces.  You comb through the posts on her Facebook wall.  You look at her text messages.  You spend hours on the phone, with friends, discussing the events leading up to this disaster.  You play Nancy Drew.  But you're an amateur, and try as you may, the pieces don't fit together.

It's simply absurd.

Because this is not the sort of thing that happens to your friends, your warrior women friends.  This is what happens on Fox News: women recently separated from their husbands dying inexplicably in hotel rooms in Atlantic City, with their children nestled up against them, one under the crook of each arm.

Fuck that.

You weep over silly things, like the message she sent asking you to join her for hot yoga, to which you replied that you couldn't cheat on your own beloved teacher, but that you'd get back to her.  You think about the last time you saw her, and you hate that you can't remember the last time you saw her.

You weep for her children, for their terminated innocence, for the loss of their true north.  She was their world, and they hers.  You are the sort of person who helps people, and there is not a thing you can do to fix this kind of broken.

You hate that she is a hazy memory already, brilliant, silhouetted by the sun, as if you've Photoshopped her with "Outer Glow."  You are standing with her on the dry part of the rocky creek bed, wordless, watching her children and yours skip stones across the surface of the water.  She slips away from you like the water in the creek, carrying the boat-branches downstream.

You hold her, and your grief, and the whole world, in your heart.
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31 comments:

loveandchaosreign said...

Oh God. I'm so so sorry. I hope you get answers soon. Much love.

Esperanza said...

Oh Justine. I'm so sorry. Sending love and light.

Abiding with you.

Kathy said...

I am so, so, so sorry for your loss. I know what it is to lose a friend and how surreal it feels in those early moments, trying to gather your memories of her, thinking back to every moment you had together, especially those last ones, that you never fathomed would or could be final. Sending so much love, thoughts, prayers and hugs your way. I know that nothing can take away the pain you are feeling right now. Please know that I am holding you close in spirit. xoxo

"What we have once enjoyed and loved deeply we can never lose. For all that we love deeply becomes a part of us." ~ Helen Keller

Lavender Luz said...

Oh, Justine. I am sending the biggest hug over the miles. I am so sorry for you, for your friend and for her family.

XOXOXO...abiding with you..

Jjiraffe said...

I am so terribly, horribly sorry for your loss. I am abiding with you and wishing you peace.

Mud Hut Mama said...

So very very sorry to hear this news. Thinking of you and your friend and her family. Wishing it wasn't so.

(Not) Maud said...

How awful. How impossible. So sorry.

gwinne said...

Oh, I am so sorry.

Tasivfer said...

Thinking of you, of your family, and hers.

Jess said...

I'm so sorry.

KeAnne said...

Oh Justine. I am so sorry. What an awful thing to happen. Sending hugs to your family and hers.

Dana said...

Justine, I am so sorry for your loss. You are in my thoughts and prayers..

Lollipop Goldstein said...

J, I am so incredibly sorry. My heart goes out to you and your friends' family.

Detour said...

Oh, no. I am so sorry. What a horrible shock, a horrible loss.

Sara said...

Something very similar happened to a loved one of mine recently as well, and I am still reeling from the loss. There are no words to help with this kind of loss, but I am abiding with you.

Sara said...

Something very similar happened to a loved one of mine recently as well, and I am still reeling from the loss. There are no words to help with this kind of loss, but I am abiding with you.

manymanymoons said...

This post is so beautiful and so tragic. I'm so sorry for you and for your friend and her family. What a shock that must have been.

Keiko said...

Justine, thinking of you and holding you in my heart. The love, the loss - all so beautifully captured and my heart aches for you. Sending you light and strength.

Kristin said...

I am so damned sorry, J! I can't imagine the pain you must be feeling and wish their was something I could do to relieve some of your sorrow.

Daryl said...

I am so, so sorry for your loss. Thinking of you and of her family and wishing you peace.

Andie said...

I'm so sorry for the loss of your friend. I am thinking of you and sending lots of hugs (for your friend's family too).

achariya rezak said...

Life, the one thing that comes with no damned guarantee. Sometimes I think about the fact that we're so lucky that we are not surrounded by this kind of sudden death all the time (like other parts of the world, universe bless them). I don't know. I'm so glad you had her for as long as you did. I honor her passing, and hope your sorrow eases too. :(

Aimee @ everydayepistle.com said...

You capture the emotion and shock so eloquently. Learning of someone's death is hard whether its sudden or expected, but to me learning of it via social media adds another cruel jolt of pain. Deepest sympathies for your loss.

Grubarazzi said...

I can't even begin to explain how sorry I am to hear that your dear friend has passed. It is shocking to lose someone so suddenly knowing that they have so much to live for and so little to die for. Thinking of you and her kiddies.

loribeth said...

Oh my. I am so sorry about your friend. :(

Geochick said...

I'm so sorry.

Rachael said...

I'm so sorry--this is such a tragic loss. Wishing you and her family much peace, if such a thing is even possible at a time like this.

Lisa Sissons said...

Popping by from IComLeaveWe

Just wanted to say I know how this feels. The moment that you find out that a friend has died and you start calling people only to realise that it is true. Disbelief. I only spoke to her last week. How is this possible?

Sending love and strength in this confusing and horrible time.

Lisa
http://dear-finley.blogspot.com

Jennifer Arlin said...

Dear Justine, I am just catching up on reading your blog, and I am so sorry this happened to your friend, and to you, and to your friendship. There's not really much more I can say. I wish you peace, and happy memories. Jennie

Adele said...

I am seeing and commenting on this so very late. But I'm so very sorry:(

Marie said...

I am so sorry for your heartbreaking loss! My best friend died an unbelievable 21 years ago and there is not a day that goes by that I don't think of her in some way.

Once the rawest pain started to fade, I knew her love for me was forever, even if she was not physically present. Remembering that and feeling her spirit close to me has brought me tremendous comfort.

I am hoping you will find some comfort soon as well.

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