Jilara (jilara) wrote,

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Once more into the shadow of death...

Well, this now makes it three for three. My closest friends are dropping at an alarming rate. The last of my female best friends, my best friend from college, whom I haven't seen much over the past 25 years, but with whom I speak or email, has just been diagnosed with advanced breast cancer. It doesn't look good. She also didn't have any lumps. She'd gone to her doctor for poison oak, and said "Oh, and I have this weird red rash on my breast that showed up about two months ago..." The doctor freaked out, sent her to mammography, and then gave her the bad news. News bad enough that he said, in so many words, "If I gave you a shred of hope, it would be medical malpractice." That's bad.

She said I'm what she needs right now, as I don't freak, I don't try to play "Oh I'm sure something can be done" or sugar coat things. She could talk to me matter of factly about her impending death, and how she feels and what it means to her. And the fact she's not ready. Is anyone? She was remarkably calm, though pissed off as hell. No shit. I am too.

I've seen so much death, so many friends fall into an early grave, that it's almost, god help me, routine, at this point. I find I take more and more comfort in writings of our forbearers, where you could expect to have some number of your friends die in childhood, then watch things ranging from disease to childbirth take a chunk out of the rest, year by year. A lot of our society is complacent, and even I had for a while bought into a false sense that my contemporaries would grow old along with me, only to watch an alarming number die at early ages. I'm not why I had a feeling they would last, whereas I never felt that way about myself, but rather have always heard that whisper in the back of my head "How much time do you think you have?" that keeps me moving, experiencing, trying to live fully and honestly. Maybe it's because I drowned when I was 2 years old and came back. I am at peace with the idea of my own exit, but there are always things you want to do, no matter when you go...

Damn, though, you'd think I wouldn't be feeling sorry for myself, thinking of how much I'll miss Debbie, but I guess it's part of all that. She's thinking of how much she's going to miss LIFE. I'm thinking of how much I'm going to miss HER.

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