It just doesn't seem real. In my mind, I still see her as alive as can be, before she even became sick. She is standing outside my office building on a summer afternoon, wide-eyed and smiling, waving to me. We are headed out to grab a quick coffee on our lunch break.
That was four years ago.
In her last month or so, I saw the disease change her in ways I had not expected. But I am amazed that the spark that made her who she was, shone steady through the darkness that would ultimately overrun her body. Admittedly, I am a skeptic when it comes to matters of faith and spiritualism. However, I am convinced that this spark, which I was fortunate enough to have witnessed first hand, was in fact her awesome spirit.
My mantra the past two days, has been reduced to three words: Life's not fair. At moments, I get glimpses of enlightenment in which I am able to see that death is not evil, it is simply a natural part of life. But these moments are fleeting, and more often than not, I am just muttering my three-word mantra inside my head. And then there have been those times when my heart races and I can hardly catch my breath. I am in a panic over the thought of never seeing her again. And I quickly put my mind on something else, for this notion is just too much to bear.
None of this makes sense to me right now. I don't know if it ever will. No matter how much time you have to prepare, or to accept. . . something like this still hits you like a ton of bricks.
As a person with little faith in an afterlife, I doubt my friend can hear my words now. But if she could, I would thank her for all she has taught me while she was here. She showed me what it means to live selflessly, and how to put others before yourself. She taught me how to cast aside silly inhibitions and to live for the moment. And she showed me what it means to bend and not break. Through the example of her own life, she made all of this look so incredibly easy. But these are lessons I am still learning, and I shall continue to look to her for guidance, wherever she might be.
I don't know what else to say.
My friend is gone.
My friend with the most incredible spirit you have ever seen, has left this world.