I am still processing a trip back to my home country.
A trip which started with an enormous shadow cast over it.
A shadow which crept into every aspect of it, which had me telling extended family members or close friends as I sat down to table or met them in cheerful places:
"I'm really, really sorry if I appear sad and distracted. It's not you."
And then I would creep off stage to take or make a phone-call on my Irish mobile.
My very best friend, my friend of over 60 years (how rare that is, a friend from kindergarten, from everything and everyone important in one's life who knows all your secrets and you hers)was sick when I arrived. Doctors had thrown anti-depressants at her, she wasn't eating, her brain wasn't functioning, her balance was precarious. This I saw when I arrived.
I was shocked, appalled, frightened. She is a livewire, had completed a marathon in June, was on the Irish bridge team, formed her own successful book club and was a host, along with her husband, of salon type gatherings of interesting, wonderful people, one of which she'd planned for me the following night.
The wheels were set in motion from that point. Immediate medical attention from other consultants if necessary.
Within days, she was under a surgical team of 4. The brain tumour was huge, 5 centimetres. And they didn't get all of its evil tendrils as it would have impacted her mobility and intelligence.
And I haven't written about it until now, even my personal hand written journaling of the whole scattered time of it brings me to tears.
I am frozen in the processing, something inside went numb and scared and can't get up.
I don't know what her comprehension is of what is going down. Only her husband's. He is being so brave and positive for their adult children but lets more of his bewilderment and loss and fear out with me.
To say we are stunned is to put it mildly. To say we are lost for words when words are lost to us seems trite.
The magnitude is incomprehensible.
I can't imagine my life without her, without her cheerleading, without her daily emails, without her chat. Without her, my glorious, wonderful friend.
I had thought to stay on in Ireland to dither around the edges of the pain and loss and helplessness.
I thought long and hard and alone on this but decided against it. Our usefulness can often be more helpful in the simple carrying on of our own lives.
Pretending everything is okay.
When the heart is shattered.
Labels: friendships, ireland, loss