It’s really strange, sometimes, being 37. Two classmates of mine from high school are widows and a dear friend’s husband is now a widower.

Last week, my closest high school friend passed away. She fought a long, courageous battle with cancer. I’m told that she knew it was the end and was at peace with it. This is something that makes my heart a little less heavy; but I’ll be honest, this has been a struggle for me.

It’s easy to think and feel young but when something like this happens, it can hit hard. I have tried to stay busy — I went to two yoga classes on Tuesday; I took 3 to the park on Monday; 3 and I drew and wrote and played on Wednesday; and today, I picked up an antibiotic for a sinus infection (less fun; still a distraction). Still, I feel a great heaviness in my heart.

As I waited for my prescription to be filled, I stood in the Hallmark section and sobbed as I chose sympathy cards to send her to husband & son and her parents. Her parents are the people who welcomed me over nearly every weekend from middle school through high school graduation; her husband, the man I watched share his vows (and keep them) in a periwinkle and cream bridesmaid dress; and her son, a near teen who’s played Legos with 11 & 13 while we visited my parents.

There’s something about losing a friend that makes you face your own mortality; something that makes you think about so many things and yet nothing, really. I spoke to a friend’s sister; she sent me a picture of us from high school that she had. It was really nice to see, as all of my old pictures are still at my parents’ house.

I guess what I’m ultimately saying is that it’s really sad to lose a friend; even understanding that life ends and that illness shortens that life. It can be difficult to stay positive and think of memories, but that’s my plan for now.


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