“It is a curious thing, the death of a loved one. We all know that our time in this world is limited, and that eventually all of us will end up underneath some sheet, never to wake up. And yet it is always a surprise when it happens to someone we know. It is like walking up the stairs to your bedroom in the dark, and thinking there is one more stair than there is. Your foot falls down, through the air, and there is a sickly moment of dark surprise as you try and readjust the way you thought of things.”
― Lemony Snicket, Horseradish: Bitter Truths You Can’t Avoid
My dear friend’s mother is going to die. It’s not a surprise. We’ve all known for some time she was ill. It’s the kind of ill that wasn’t going to get better. And even though she knew before, when her dad called with the latest report from the doctor, now she knows.
I keep thinking about my friend, who I’ve known since we were 16. Her mother was always good to me. At a time when other people’s mothers said unkind things about my family, she told me to stand up straight. She said I was lovely. I’m grateful to her for that.
There’s nothing to do. There’s no amount of casseroles or deviled eggs or notes or offers of babysitting to make this not surreal. I’ve known loss in my life. Somehow this feels different. And I can’t really explain why. My heart is broken for my friend.