I just learned my friend Pat died. And not recently; it was in Sept 2020! I felt shock to learn this new fact about her life...er, I mean, her death. Then, despair started to soak into my pores and I seemed to become waterlogged with grief. The fact that this happened almost a year ago also disturbed me. What kind of friend does this make me for not even knowing?
Pat had moved out of the Bay Area and landed clear across the country. When she announced she was moving to Florida my mouth fell open. “But what about all the crazies and the rednecks there? And the right wing nut cases? And the Trumpers? Pat, you will hate it there,” I told her. She said she had done the research and there are Democrats who live in Florida, too. She promised she would find them and not join the weirdos. After all, she was a social butterfly and craved more variety than what she found here. She decided to take the leap into that unknown.
Friendships often change with distance. Soon things shifted to become just occasional conversations, then moved to just messages on Facebook. Pathetic, really. A fork in the road was created and we drifted in different directions. This depressed me even more. I felt alone in my grief. And vulnerable. I became very sad. Our escapades and adventures were now over - forever. No more chats. No more laughing with a glass of wine in our hand. No more outings.
Now Pat is dead. Kaputz. It seems like it was a all over in a flash. I have a real awareness I will never see her in the flesh again. Her book of life is closed. I'm surprised how much emptiness and hurt her absence is creating.
So long, my friend. Thank you for the joy you brought into our lives. You made an impact on this world and everyone who called you friend.