Tuesday, February 07, 2012

And now I know.

Posts I wrote over the past two months will be popping up. Things I needed to say, but it wasn't the time to say them. This is from December 8, 2011.

My best friend is dying.

Of course, by the time you are reading this, my best friend will already have died because this isn't something I want her to read.

When your best friend is dying, who do you talk to? I mean, she is the one I always called for everything. When my momma got sick, when my daddy got sick, when I got divorced, when I fell in love again, when I got pregnant, when I miscarried, when I need parenting help - always when I need parenting help - I call Susan.

I call Susan for everything. I call Susan for nothing. She is Christina to my Meredith.

This afternoon, I'm coming to grips with the fact that Susan is dying. We've known this for awhile now. It's what terminal cancer means. But Susan is doing a beautiful job of living with cancer instead of dying from cancer. It is Susan who taught me to quit mourning the upcoming deaths of my parents from terminal illnesses and start enjoying the time I have with them more. It is Susan who taught me that a terminal diagnosis is not an immediate death sentence, so love the life you have and live it to the fullest.

I love her.

I miss her today, right now. Not because she is sick, but because she is my best friend and outside of my immediate family, the person I would rather be with above all other people.

I miss her.

The thing is, I am supporting her the best that I can. My sorrow is not her sorrow to bear. She has her own sorrow. When your best friend is dying, you've got to find another shoulder to cry on. That doesn't mean that we haven't cried together - we have. It means that the selfish oh woe is me feelings that I have when I think about losing her - those feelings are not for her ears.

She has enough to deal with without me making her feel guilty for being sick and leaving too too too soon.

My prayers are for pain relief. I tell this to people very matter of factly because on the outside, and out of respect for Susan, I'm not praying for a miraculous healing anymore. I want her to be free of pain. It's that simple.

When your best friend is dying, you want to encourage her to fight as hard as she can, but you have to know when she has had enough. You have to listen more than you cheer. You have to stand by her decisions to treat or to stop treating. You have to be ready to let her go with grace.

I'm trying so hard. I'm trying so hard, but my heart is breaking into a million tiny pieces.

A million tiny tiny little pieces.