When Your Friend Dies of Cancer

Forget-me-nots by William Warby, reused via Crative Commons. Thanks!

….and she‘s asked everyone to wear colors instead of black to the memorial service, everyone panics in front of their wardrobe and chooses blue. And you are both sad and happy to meet the other friends and family members, who, it turns out, you get along with really well.

…social media just gets weird, for a couple of weeks. Twitter? Cruelly insufficient. Style blogging? Seems wrong, even though your friend was stylish. Facebook? So many potential faux pas.

…you get reminded. By a specific Thai restaurant, a Persian lamb coat, a blue-bound novel, the sun on the sea near Kapiti Island.

…grief takes new forms. Like extreme tiredness, and alternating between forgetting food and eating everything. You avoid your friends who never met her because you don’t know what to say, and then one of them fesses up that she was avoiding you because she didn’t know what to say, and you have a small laugh over it.

….you realize, two weeks too late, that your car registration has lapsed. In fact, when was the last time you put air in the tires? Jesus! When did your tires wear down so much? How could you not notice? Oh. You were…busy.

….a week later, or two, or three, or four, when you are at an event as an ambassador of burlesque cheer and glitter, a live friend introduces a grieving friend of your dead friend. You do your utmost to switch social gears.

…you think about your other friend with cancer. The third friend, too. Your mom.  Your fiance’s mom. And you do the breast check in the shower. Even though none of these people, yourself included, were afflicted with breast cancer.

….when you do have a good and lighthearted day again, you suddenly Remember. Through the guilt,  you take a deep breath, and remind yourself that that’s exactly what your friend wanted for you. And you go on.

Forget-me-nots by William Warby, reused via Crative Commons. Thanks!


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