Your friend gets the news thirteen months ago.
You think to yourself, hey, this is wrong, someone’s made a huge mistake: she’s a life long vegetarian, an emergency room nurse, a volunteer, a great woman to all who knew her, her sons are still too young and she's just within seconds of having an overdue retirement.
Where she can travel a bit to her family in Nova Scotia, maybe visit me for a week or three; the plans are rich, expansive. Kayaking, she loves kayaking. And hiking, boy, she really leaves us eating her dust when we’re out. She's lost her dog in the last wee while, was planning on getting another one. See? She'd far too much on the go. It wasn't time.
Always good at advice, one of those who’s very unobtrusive. But wise. She’d throw lovely little parties with unusual ice creams and organic cakes and candles everywhere. Even on her small deck. She was like that. She could be relied upon to bring something interesting to the Annual Ladies’ Brunch that I hold every year in Toronto. And she’d present you with flowers out of the blue. Because.
Her last emails were full of the harvest on her balcony. Clipping her lettuce. Watching her Japanese maple grow to 9”, gathering her tax papers to ship to me, doing her meditations.
Inoperable fucking brain cancer.
She died at 10.00 p.m. last night.
RIP dearest Diana.
A little poem I wrote which was read at her memorial service:
Death is only for the living:
The bereft standing there
Embracing the sharp edges
And chilling silence
Of your vanished vitality.