It has been a process of over two years to get to a place where I can do this eulogy for an old friend (who wasn’t so old). I know this website typically deals with news, current events and politics, but perhaps you will indulge me for a few moments on this sensitive topic of a high school friend I lost way too soon, barely beyond her milestone 30th birthday.
No, it wasn’t like that. There was no romance involved and neither of us were likely interested in it being so. But I remember when I found out via Facebook, first that she had suffered sudden, massive heart failure and then, a few paragraphs down, been taken off life support. Nobody saw it coming. She was always one of the most attractive, admired and fittest girl in my class.
I know everyone says shit like that when someone passes away, like you’re supposed to. In this case, I’m not making a rhetorical exaggeration. To a person, I didn’t know anyone who didn’t think she was a pretty incredible human being, flaws and all, both as a person and physically. I overlooked her in that regard in high school, as I had my sights on someone just as unattainable, asshole that I was and occasionally still am.
Our paths crossed after a decade of separation via Facebook, as she had taken up employment that allowed for us to see each other again.
She had had her moments of indiscretion (if you can call it that), I understand, that many young people do, especially with her advantages, but literally weeks before the terrible news finally seemed to have her shit completely together. She had just started up her own business, one which I ultimately never got to see her run. It’s probably the least of my disappointments.
But I was still incredibly proud of her, even for a brief moment before the grief set in. I wore sunglasses much of the time at work for the next couple of days. I’m sure everyone thought I had lost it. In those moments, I identified a little with the Pink song, “Who Knew.” I can only imagine how her boyfriend of recent times felt and likely still feels. It seemed they were just “settling down.” I’ve been dumped–and that’s bad enough—but I have never had the love of my life die on me. How do you recover from that?
In the end, it’s tragic, but life goes on (does it?), as does the memory and hugs of a friend–even if my fro will never be the same again. It’s really not fair. The angels and the Big Guy will have a better look than I will.