My friend is dying.

She’s not the kind of friend I would call on the phone.

She gets along great with my mom when she comes to visit.

She is wise and has given me advice that has helped me change the course of my life; She is someone I want to know better, but I’ve never quite figured out how to start that conversation.

She is small. As in height and stature, a slip of a woman with a strong jaw and a voice like Katherine Hepburn. She wears big hats, and for the longest time she had the most hair of anyone I knew.

After they shaved her head, I knew it was downhill.

Like Samson from Delilah, her mane was a big part of her identity. So when she lost that first battle and her hair came tumbling down, I knew it wouldn’t be long until her body followed.

Our mutual friends got married this weekend.

I sang with my band. We drank champagne, listened to their homegrown vows and danced to The Jackson 5.

It was like everything was normal…except there she was, giving a speech – no long mane, ashen skin, and only about 80 pounds of flesh and muscles wrapped tightly around a skeletal frame.

We could see she was dying.

What do you do with that?

How do you handle that?

What do you say?

The truth is, you don’t say anything.

You dance.

You cry.

You wait.

And you wait.

And you wait.

And then you let it sink in.

And then you hurt.

And then you hold on.

And then you get busy living.

Xo,
a

Add yours Comments – 18

  • Pammy Jean Petersen

    on June 25, 2014 at 10:08 am

    I wish I did not know this feeling. My cousin Lynn and I bonded at 3 months old. Over the years that bond grew and grew. We had so many silly stories most people would not believe any truth to them. As I held her hand 3 days before she left us, I sat there wondered how can I do this and who would share those stories and truly understand the significance of her life and how wonderful she was. Pregnant at 15 she raised three beautiful young ladies. She worked her way up from a teller position Vice President. She was still working the week before her death. Amazingly enough that morning she had asked her longtime partner Dan to please drive her to work. Dan thinking this is strange and drove her to her office. As Lynn did her job through treatments, mastectomy, reconstruction he went with her. As she did her daily routines he noticed her with her phone in her hand. She looked confused and could not figure out how to dial the phone. Dan called her boss and said something is very wrong with Lynn. Her boss said take her to the hospital and do not let her take her work lap top with her. Well Lynn took that laptop of course. At the hospital things went to bad from worse. The cancer had spread to her brain, bones, kidneys, and liver what do you do with that. I loved her so much. If I had the means to author a book it would be a story of one strong woman who could and did do it all on her own. My stories still play in my head in those quiet times and somehow feel comfort we are still sharing them and laughing but this time in our quiet/silent voice.

    • Leo

      on August 21, 2014 at 7:46 am

      The scientific truth is nothing ever truly dissapears it just changes shape. All matter , solid , liquid and gas .
      Taking that into consideration how much more would God care for a soul who has dwelt in a body that is finite ?

      When my grand mother died of cancer it was devistating. But the only thing that healed my pain was knowing she had a front row seat in heaven and wasnt missing a thing…watching us waiting to be reunited.
      Every tear on her face wiped away,
      no more pain or sorrow .
      Im comforted by that.

  • Bill Korbatly

    on June 25, 2014 at 10:46 am

    May she RIP

  • Sarah

    on June 25, 2014 at 12:03 pm

    I know the feeling. I experienced the same thing with my aunt. It’s a very sad time, waiting to lose someone. It is also times like these where we should reflect on the brevity of human life and make the most of our time here. I wish many blessings unto you, your friend, and your loved ones.

  • creativityisinspiring

    on June 25, 2014 at 12:26 pm

    The only thing I can think of saying is that if she is a friend of yours then she will always be with you no matter the course you both take. All you can really do is support her with what she’s going through. Your support will go far, all the support will make her fight for her life. She’s your friend meaning you will be there for one another, you can’t help but grieve and be upset but if you think about it, you don’t want to grieve over her, you should celebrate the life she’s had, she may not be known world wide but she’s known by others which means her spirit will live on through those hearts she’s touched during her life-time.
    Send my wishes for her health!

    I went through this but during my experience I didn’t get to find out until it had happened and it was over the phone just one month after Christmas so you can imagine how much I grieved but then I remembered what he had said to me when I visited before Christmas…he said I dont want people to be grieving, I don’t want sadness. I want people to celebrate my life, i don’t want darkness, i want brightness!
    I guess in a way you could relate to this, she has lived her life and maybe she will live more but that support has to be there for her to know she’s got the greatest friends and family there is!

  • Andrey and Pavel

    on June 25, 2014 at 4:45 pm

    You will go through this. You’re strong woman. We must live for those who is gone.

    Love from Russia and Ukraine, xoxo;)

  • Commander

    on June 28, 2014 at 12:14 am

    LOVE & LIVE unwavering
    For all i know
    Is PAIN!!!!!!

  • Bamby

    on June 28, 2014 at 10:05 am

    A person is born crying while everyone around them is smiling. If they were good people throughout their lives, then when they die, it’s they who are smiling while everyone around them is crying.

    Someone once said that death is the transition from one form of life to another. It’s not death itself but the transition that is often uncomfortable. Think of it as a transition from physical suffering to an existence free of physical constraints. Call them not the dead, for they are more alive than we are.

  • jim1965

    on July 3, 2014 at 7:09 am

    I was up super early today and saw “Smallville” was on. I was very curious about what has been up with the very talented “Chloe Sullivan” and discovered this site. I have to say I am very impressed with your mind and heart as you embrace yourself and life. I am curious as to whether you have seriously considered the life of Jesus in the Scriptures? I consider Him to be my ultimate mentor, if you will. He also helps me to be at ease with death knowing that I have the hope and expectation of seeing my loved ones again in a beautiful place, He is my touchstone; any mentor contradicting Him is in error, albeit well-meaning. Love and respect.

  • misarah

    on July 9, 2014 at 4:21 am

    This poem could have easily been written about my dear old friend (may he rest in peace) losing someone you love is the hardest thing in the world but it does get easier and they’ll always be in your heart. I remember going through pictures and came across his his grad photo and on the back of picture was a message, it made smile and cry. RIP

  • Beth

    on July 17, 2014 at 1:54 am

    Hi Allison,
    I empathize…I lost my gran back in April 🙁
    Hope you’re okay 🙂

  • Leo

    on August 25, 2014 at 9:36 pm

    The scientific truth is nothing ever truly dissapears it just changes shape. All matter , solid , liquid and gas .
    Taking that into consideration how much more would God care for a soul who has dwelt in a body that is finite ?

    When my grand mother died of cancer it was devistating. But the only thing that healed my pain was knowing she had a front row seat in heaven and wasnt missing a thing…watching us waiting to be reunited.
    Every tear on her face wiped away,
    no more pain or sorrow .
    Im comforted by that.

  • Laura

    on November 7, 2014 at 5:53 pm

    And the only other thing you can do is remember, and smile.

    What I can really relate with, is knowing this great admirable people that I’d love to get to know deeply, but that I just don’t know how to start a conversation with.
    -I love reading your thoughts. I hope you have a great day! bye! 🙂

  • Mark

    on December 5, 2014 at 8:47 pm

    Every year that passes that I don’t die I continue to lose friends that can’t handle that I might die. Whether I live 2 years or 50 year it will have served to make me feel as if I’d died a little with every friend that can no longer pick up the phone to dial or answer anymore.

  • Unknown

    on December 22, 2014 at 5:19 am

    I’m sorry to hear about your friend. I wish you kindness, strength and compassion to help get through difficult time.
    Hearty Condolences
    From,
    South Florida

  • Michael Turner

    on January 10, 2015 at 11:45 am

    Hello My Lady,
    I was in the Bahamas and the nice people there said that and I love that expression, “My Lady”.
    Anyhow my mother passed away recently and tomorrow was her birthday, the last few years she became my best friend and it has impacted me more that I thought it would. Grieving is hard maybe because I don’t want to let go, I don’t know. What I do know is time is precious and I wish I could go back in time and relive or create more moments with her. Looking forward, each interaction with others keeps me on my best behavior because her goodness is in my heart. So if you would like someone to communicate with, I am all ears, not physically, lol.
    Best wishes,
    Michael
    Gravity6998@gmail.com

  • Kat Stevens

    on February 3, 2015 at 1:06 pm

    Interesting. With a smile, hug then let the tears fall from the heavens. Not letting go of the moment . Everyone is temporarily immortal in connection fuelled memories.

  • J. Brundige

    on July 19, 2015 at 4:38 am

    The doctor says that I shall die.
    It may be so, yet what care I?
    Endless reposing from the strife?
    Death do I trust no more than life.
    For one thing is like one arrayed,
    And there is neither false nor true;
    But in a hideous masquerade
    All things dance on, the ages through…

    In the night I dreamed of you;
    All the place was filled
    With your presence; in my heart
    The strife was stilled.

    All night I have dreamed of you;
    Now the morn is grey.
    How shall I arise and face
    The empty day?