When a person dies

Someone I dearly loved died this week.

After I found out she had passed, I turned invisible. Creatures around me became their own planets, rotating in separate orbits. Someone turned down the earth’s volume knob and the little pilotman in charge of keeping our world spinning slowed everything down.

The squirrel outside my car window acted like he couldn’t see me. I guess maybe he didn’t. But I saw him, and that made it worse because he was doing something important. It was obvious. He was focused and alive. The brown hairs on his back shivered. His tiny dark nails scratched the asphalt as he crossed in front of me.

Inside my car planet, I turned up the music, but familiar song lyrics took on new meaning.

“As many times as I blink I’ll think of you…I swear I won’t forget you.”

Everything reminded me that she was gone.

I drove downtown, but buildings shoved memories at me. That ugly place we worked together. We’d grab coffee at that Starbucks.

That restaurant was where we had lunch and she said it was okay that I left my job, that I left her. She said she wanted me to be happy and that I should pursue my passions. She hugged me goodbye, like always. She was so small, but she was the biggest person I’ve ever known.

December. Her birthday month.

Everything becomes a reminder. Or a metaphor.

Christmas carols. Rain. A woman walking alone.

I wait for my daughter to get off the bus. A little boy and his dad are waiting, too. The little boy stares up at a tall evergreen, tilting his head back further and further. His child face smiles up. All he can possibly see is sky. The vast, clouded mystery beyond where he stands. He giggles. He looks dizzy. He leans farther.

When he starts to fall backward, his face doesn’t change. He keeps smiling, like maybe he doesn’t know he’s falling. Or he’s not afraid. Maybe he trusts his father will catch him. Maybe he doesn’t mind falling, or he is so pleased with his profound, incomprehensible moment that he is holding on for as long as he can. Anyway, his father does catch him.

The sky is too heavy for me. Too risky. I don’t even want to watch this little boy finding joy in his wonder, because I just want to be sad. And angry.

All that space, white clouds, full of what? Too much carbon dioxide and humanity’s eventual demise. My death. What is there beyond that stupid sky, anyway?

Is she up there? Is she gone?

I want her back, damn it. And I’m sick of the rain. Fucking sky. She was my friend, my mentor. She inspired me to live better. To live stronger. I hate You, whoever you are, for taking her. For making her suffer with cancer.

I am still angry when my daughter steps off the bus. The lights are blinking. But she smiles at me like I am her sky. The world speeds up. Sounds are loud again.

I focus on her. I become visible, alive.

260 thoughts on “When a person dies

  1. This is stunning, beautiful writing Meagan. I am working on a post for tomorrow about loss… and I feel frozen now. I should re-blog instead, because you have truly hit all the nails, struck every chord there is. I am so very sorry for your loss. I get it, I know it… and you have really honored your friend, in ways you probably don’t know yet, because you are grieving. Such a gift. Hugs M.

    • Thank you, Dawn. Please do finish your post on loss, though. Everyone’s grief experience is so individual, so their own. You’re always welcome to re-blog or link to or whatever anything I post, but I bet if you push through and just write your honest experience about what you’re feeling, you’ll be proud of the result.

      I’m still pretty deep in my own feelings of anger and sadness, but I know how time works. I’ll just wait for the clouds to lift. It will happen.

      Thanks, always, for your kindness and insights. XOXO, Meagan

      • My post was words away from done when I commented, but I finished it late last night… including a link back to your post. However, I was up all night (literally ALL night- not about writing) and my brain is addled. My post seems to ramble and is not what I want it to be, but I’m not doing so well with edits right now. I hope to post it in the next little while, and then sleep. Some are easy to write, and others are definitely not. :-/ Again, Meagan your post is so mov and I’m so very sorry for your loss.

        • So sorry you’ve been up all night! Get some sleep, poor lady.The writing will still be there. As hard as ever, but still there. Most days writing is hard for me.

  2. Many times it is not only appropriate but also okay to be sad or angry. I say ‘okay’ because, too often, we do not give ourselves permission to be anything other than that perky little ideal thing. This is one of those times and it will last…but so, too, will the memories of your friend. They will just turn to something different, something new but, most importantly, something better–if you allow it all to happen.

  3. Wow, Meagan. This piece goes right to the heart–the heart of grief, trying to move through the fog of loss amid daily life, and the coming back into your own life. And, it goes right to the heart of the reader. I’m sorry to hear of your loss–such a positive force in your life, a force that is sure to remain, even though your friend is gone. Peace to you in you sorrow. Thanks for sharing this. Love from Ohio.

    • Nancy, thank you so much for getting it. You’ve articulated exactly what I was/am feeling. Thanks for empathizing with my experience, sharing comfort, and appreciating how hard it is to capture life in words. Much love to you, Meagan

  4. Pingback: A Quick Bonus… Read Someone Else. | Tales from the Motherland

  5. Meagan, I’m sorry for your loss, of course. But I congratulate you for this transcendently beautiful writing. I’m so grateful that the arc you underwent in your grieving hit the point of articulation upon which you stop here. You know the process will continue to undulate, and you know that writing about it is giving life and understanding.
    Looking forward so much to seeing you!
    love
    Ela

    • Thank you for reading, Ela. And for your understanding.

      Mortality’s a heartless mistress. Prone to unexpected and erratic behavior.

      I can’t wait to see you. Are you available anytime next week? I’ll send you a FB note so we can plan something!
      Meagan

  6. In April 2011, I lost my uncle after he had a brain aneurysm and a then a stroke. Just last night, I had a dream he came back. I got to hug him again in my dream, and I thought to myself, “This isn’t real, don’t wake up.” Of course as soon as I thought that, I woke up, and found I’d started crying in my sleep. My dog was licking my face out of concern, and once I’d stopped crying and he was sure I was OK, he snuggled his head on my chest so I could pet him. I miss my uncle. I love my dog.

    This is a lovely post on how you’re dealing with your anger at the universe for stealing your friend. I’m still a little pissed my uncle was taken so suddenly. But you have your daughter, and I have my dog, and we move on.

    • What an amazing and beautiful comment. Thank you.

      Yes. We move on. We connect, we love. We throw ourselves into our humanity until we wear out.

      Give your sweet dog a little pat on the head for me, will ya?

  7. One of the best reasons for writing things like this is that it helps other people to understand themselves. Everyone that loses someone goes through what you go through – and yet everyone feels so alone when they do.

    When we read something like this, people like you help us all feel a bit more connected in our losses, reminding us that we’re not alone.

    Thanks for what you wrote.

    • Thank you, Kevin, for your understanding. Yes, I do write (and read) to feel connection…to remind myself that I am not alone in this mysterious human experience. Thanks for commenting and letting me know that you are here, too.

    • Thank you for your understanding. And I send you my warmest thoughts back in return. The woman I wrote about was diagnosed with breast cancer many years ago. Not as young as you are, but young still. After her first diagnosis and treatment, she beat back cancer and did amazing things. She was appointed by our governor to lead a state agency, she was elected by other state officials to head a national association, she changed the way our state does business. She inspired so many of us young women in public service.

      Strength and courage and stamina to you as you wage your own battle.

  8. I lost my mentor to cancer, too, and it still hurts 18 years later. I know how you feel. It’s hard to accept but in time I’m sure you’ll be able to see a bit more clearly. Everything happens for a reason, even if we don’t get it.I know you’re mad, and I’m sorry for your loss.

  9. This is beautiful. I, too, am working on a post about loss — that of the children this week. But this is such poetic prose. Keep up the good work. What a wonderful tribute to your friend.

  10. I’m sorry about your friend. I think the tears people shed reading this can protest to this. I wish I had good happy things to say to make it all better but all I can offer is a spiritual hug sooooo *hugs*. I promise you this..there is life afterwards. I’ve seen it only for a moment but it wasn’t all rainbows or hell, it was scary and confusing..and those that pass on try so very hard for you to see them because they are there. There’s no sudden knowledge of understanding it all. Its as if you blink and then no one can see you but you can see them. So occasionally when you think of your friend..talk to him or her normal as if they were right there. They miss you also, but they see you. It’s hard to explain but I know you get it.

    • Your hugs are greatly appreciated! And I’m sending a big one back to you…*HUG*

      I’m so intrigued by your comment and do hope I will feel my friend in my life as I move forward. Best to you and thank you for reading and commenting.

  11. Death is an enormous thing to absorb. My mother passed a little more than a year ago and I have been dealing with it as best I can. It made a huge impact on me, even in ways I would’t have thought it would. I have sought solace, understanding, and healing in my writing. I hope you continue to grow into the release of letting go while your heart holds on.

    • Cheri, I’m so sorry for your loss. I am grateful to still have my mom in my life, but after watching her lose my grandmother recently (which was hard on both of us), I find myself worrying about losing her.

      Many thanks for sharing your own experience and advice. Sending good thoughts your way…

  12. I am sorry for your loss. Your post was so very beautiful. Though your loved one is no longer with you, your memories of her and the assiciated emotions can never be diminished or taken from you. Cherish your child. Take good care.

    • Thank you, William, for reading and for taking the time to share. Yes, I cherish every minute with my daughter and my family, and I hold close the memories of those I’ve loved and lost. Though I am still reeling from this recent loss, I will remember her always and with joy for all that she brought to my life. Sending good thoughts your way…

  13. Are the song lyrics mentioned from Owl City’s “Vanilla Twilight?” If they are, then you definitely aren’t alone in your thinking about the origins of it. Adam Young (Owl City) wrote “Vanilla Twilight” for his girlfriend that had passed. And thank you for the story, it really resonated with me.

    • YES! Those are lyrics from “Vanilla Twilight.” Thank you for sharing the back story. I didn’t know, but it makes perfect sense to me now. Really appreciate you taking the time to read and comment. So honored that the post was meaningful to you.

  14. The grief of loss is so difficult to truly express. We are so often at a loss for words when the numbness takes over and we sort of float through the fog. Your piece is lovely. I too have been dealing with loss and trying to find ways to express what I feel. I can empathize and wish you peace and clarity as you move through this difficult time.

  15. ooooh it is sad story. At least you have someone to be loved, took care and hugged. Half of you have been taken away but you got another half (your daughter). You are blessed.

  16. Thanks for sharing. Loss isn’t always easy to share.

    Good portions of this sounded so familiar to me. My grandfather committed suicide over the summer, and I felt like I was walking through a fog for about a month and a half. I still think about him every day, and many things remind me of him – I baked all weekend, because Grammy just isn’t up to it, and I almost cried win I made the peanut blossoms. Grammy and I used to do all of the Christmas baking together, and when we would do the peanut blossoms, Gramps was right there, ready to shove the peanut butter cups or chocolate kisses into the middles. No matter what we made or what he was doing, he ALWAYS did that. But you know what? I know that he would want us to carry on with our usual Christmas traditions, maybe throwing in some stories, probably about him sticking out his false teeth in our family Christmas pictures a few years ago…

    The holidays are the hardest time to lose somebody, and are hard to go through after a recent loss. Hang in there, and know that your friend is probably looking at you, toasting you with eggnog, and wishing you happy holidays.
    <3

    • I am so sorry for the loss of your grandfather and REALLY appreciate you sharing your experience. I love your blog name: greenrollerskates = awesome! And the crazy family pic you posted is absolutely wonderful. Have the very best holiday! XXOO, Meagan

      • Thanks, Meagan. It’s just a reminder that, though we feel alone, we are not.
        My blog got its name from my roller derby skates, which are, you guessed it, green! :-)
        The crazy family was taken about four years ago. It is the most recent one I was able to find with all of us, an shows all about us. It’s silly, and because of that, is one of my favorites.
        Have a wonderful Christmas! <3

  17. Beautiful. You capture so well, the pain and anger of losing someone to cancer. My good friend passed away two years ago. I was devastated by her loss and I still feel a void in my life since her passing.

    Thank you for sharing this.

    • Sending warm thoughts your way, She Bear. So sorry for the loss of your good friend. I’m processing the strange reality of no longer having my friend physically present in my life and am trying to keep her alive in me, in the legacy she left. Thank you for reading and responding. Peace…

    • Thank you, zengarden2011, for reading and encouraging. “It makes a difference” — that means so much to me! All these beautiful comments from others also struggling with grief and loss have given me such a warm feeling. thanks for being a fellow blogger. and for leaving a comment. *LOVE*

  18. Hi Megan,
    Good to see you expressing yourself. Realise that your friend will always be apart of you. Maybe not in the world of form any longer but your friend will be in the world of formless. You will always be connected :)

    • Thank you, Susan. Yes, loss is such a lame consequence of us being mortal. You’d think it wouldn’t hurt so bad after a few times, but I think it hurts WORSE the more people you love and lose. Thank you for reading and empathizing with me.

  19. Hi Megan – I am so sorry. Losing someone at this time of year is doubly hard. I am grateful that you have your little girl to focus on. I’ve been posting about nothing but grief for the past few days…river of tears, river of love. Here’s one you (and others) might find helpful. It is about ways to cope with loss during the holidays. Bless you as you recover – and you *will* recover.

    http://melanielynngriffin.wordpress.com/2012/12/14/all-is-not-merry-in-connecticut/

  20. I understand your loss. I empathize with your loss on many levels. I am offended by your lack of sincerity in your amessage. Why don’t you just use plain text to express your feelings. Are you blogging on some psychodelic drug? I can’t imagine that if you lost someone that you could freehand the thoughts you feel in such a forced poetic manner. I am not saying that you are not hurt, but I am suspect of your purpose. I hope that you are not trying to publicize your writing ability to romanticize death or a loss. That is just sad. Death is not romantic, yet it is poetic. Please entertain me something other than death or tragedy to express your feelings literally. Your stream of consciousness offends me when it comes to death. And to question the validity of much powerful force taking this person away is absurd. Let’s grow up and remember that people are going to die. Every second, someone is born. Every second, someone dies. Let us mourn. Let us not make a mockery of the english language to possibly try to gain respect for the way we present it. Death is real. Poetry is real. Don’t abuse rhetoric for personal gain.

    • I’m sorry you feel this way. I think we all experience and express things differently. Our own way. This is my truth, my experience. I am thankful to be able to feel and share it freely.

  21. I can say I spent many nights driving around screaming at my steering after losing loved ones.
    Not that I would ever try to put my loss as comparable to someone else’s, but I’d like to share what little I’ve learned.
    There is no right or wrong when it comes to grieving. There is just coping and not. As long as you are moving forward you are coping. Somedays that may just be getting yourself out of bed. It’s not a matter of how big your steps are. It’s just that you are moving.

    Very well written post. I hope the best for you.

    • Thanks, Jeremy. I do most of my crying in my car. Where no one sees. Though I did go to the service last weekend, and I bawled my eyes out. Crying in public is the worst, but sometimes it’s unavoidable and after the service, being surrounded by others who were also grieving this amazing woman, I felt an unexpected peace. I’ve been trying to focus on the parts of her that have stayed with me and the connections I retain with the other people who knew her. Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts.

  22. I’m sorry for your loss. I feel your pain as I too lost someone I loved last week, my Uncle, who also passed from cancer. I found that blogging about him helped eased my pain. My sympathies to you and your family. ((HUGS))

    • Cancer’s so very frustrating. All the emotions. Fighting for so long. The body wasting away. I, too, find writing helps me process and accept these experiences. Thanks much for your kind thoughts. Hugs right back to you!

  23. A poignant piece of work of sorrow AND hope. I liked your metaphor of the people revolving around you like planets. Grief sometimes feels like you have a big black hole in your stomach and it’s trying to suck everything around you in.

    • Definitely! Yes…”a big black hole in your stomach.” And somehow we still have to carry on. Do the everyday things. It’s weird. But it’s what we have to do, I guess. thanks for your comment.

  24. I can feel your sorrow as you write this piece. I’m very sorry for your loss, Ms. Meagan. Just know that she’s in a safe place now. No one can possibly harm her there. I hope you’re getting better by now. Thanks for writing this. Blog more! :)

  25. This is incredibly sad, but beautiful and inspiring as well. Really, really well written. I’m glad you have your daughter as a light in your life. At the same time, I’m sorry you had to go through losing someone. Keep loving your daughter and let her make you smile. You’ll never forget that person, but life will be better again soon. (I hope!:)

    • What a fantastic comment, desertmoonwoman. “…death can remind us to be alive.” so true. thank you. i try to be more alive each day for my daughter. appreciate the prayers and have truly felt uplifted since this post. how grateful I am!

  26. Thank you for this beautiful piece of poetry. I love how you express hope in the last paragraph. When my grandfather died, I felt a part of me had died with him. I felt empty and for a few weeks I couldn’t imagine feeling true joy again. Fortunately, we can cope with more than we think. There is always hope.

    • So true, dearferrero! Thank you. Excellent comment. Yes, there is ALWAYS hope, and we can definitely cope with more than we think. It’s not that fun, though. :-)

      Very sorry for the loss of your grandfather. I lost my grandma a few years ago and still think of her often…now mostly just good memories–advice, little moments. I know I’ll get there with this loss, too, but the process is a real humdinger, you know? Best to you and thanks again for the lovely comment.

  27. I’m soooo sorry to hear about your friend. DAMN CANCER. It rears its ugly head and takes the people most precious to us. What a beautiful post… your grief is apparent, and its part of the process to work through. It’s not wrong to be angry. I know when I lost my baby I was so angry, I blamed WHOEVER IT WAS who took her, yet in the end, know that everything is part of a plan, and that everything happens for a reason, we just have no idea what the reason is right now. It doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be sad… or angry. One day it may become obvious WHY… It helps to know that, at least in the long run. You sound like a strong soul and I guess this sadness will make any joy you have in the future even that much more joyous! Think of your friend with a smile. Know that she is there with you every step of the way, and when you see a star shining brightly in the sky, it’s her, smiling down upon you! I wish you peace…

    • Thanks for the wonderful comment, Barbara. To lose a child, a baby…my heart goes out to you. What a terrible, incomprehensible loss. Losing my friend has been difficult, yes, but I can’t imagine what you had to go through. Thank you for sharing with me and offering such an uplifting perspective. You made me smile.

  28. Death is about anger. You’ve lost someone important to you. You miss them, how could she be taken away? Why her? But, it’s also about learning to let go. The reasons a friend or loved one is taken, is not for us to know. But, I believe that living our best life while here is what we should do.

    I’m sorry for your loss, Meagan. Your grief is felt by all of us. God bless, my dear.
    Debbie

    • I SO agree with you, Debbie. Thank you for sharing this comment. I KNOW my friend lived without regrets–she lived a wonderful, amazing life. She was a well-regarded leader in Washington State. She was beautiful and amazing and had a wonderful family. I was angry that she had been taken from me–from us, but I’m less angry now. Just sad and sorta resolved. Thanks for your kind and uplifting thoughts!

  29. I just stumbled upon this post on freshly pressed, but it is amazing – especially to think that the experience of the person (or people) left behind is so often similar. I lost someone very close to me a few months ago to cancer, and it’s funny because it generally is a loss – because that person was someone to me, a part of them was mine. This Christmas will be the first without my grandmother, the first for my mum without her mum and the first for my grandfather without his wife.

    We will be together in our loss this year, and although we know what a precious person we have lost, everyone has their time to go, and what more can we be than thankful that we had all our previous Christmases, and all of our previous memories with that wonderful person? You don’t have to let go, you just have to learn to smile when you think of them rather than to cry.

    • My heart goes out to you and I wish you strength as you deal with the loss of your grandmother. A few years ago, my grandma passed away around this time of year and it was so very hard for all of us–my mom and grandpa especially. But like you said, we were together–we missed her together and we remembered her together.

      I do miss my friend and will miss her probably for the rest of my life, but I’m trying to remember all that she taught me and all of her that is still in me. Wishing you peace and strength through the holidays and New Year. Thank you for sharing such a beautiful comment.

    • Losing people sucks. Definitely. But (and I know this sounds cliche) they are never totally lost–they do live on in you. That’s the cool part. It hurts super bad to not be able to see them and talk to them anymore, but already I’m feeling less angry than when I wrote this post. And when I want to talk to my friend, I try to imagine what she would say, how she would answer a question or comment on something. Usually I can imagine exactly what she’d say. It makes me feel like she is alive in me. Thanks for your comment, wandafulwan!

  30. Meagan – I have lost my father mother and brother in the last 15 years and can identify so much with you. I rented my mother’s house shortly after she died so i could have another family with life occupying her space. But there are places and times that draw me back to those memories like you mentioned.

    Time is a great healer of this raw set of emotions. I pray you feel the love of the readers here who offer you condolences and their thoughts and prayers. You gave your friend a wonderful tribute with this piece.

    • Thank you so much for your comment, Joe. And YES! I can’t believe how amazing it has been to have so many people share their own experiences of loss and grief. I have felt so uplifted and totally don’t feel worthy of the love people have shared with me. Already I am less angry about the loss of my friend and am trying to re-focus on all the wonderful things she brought to my life. So in a way, I keep the best of her alive inside me.

      My heart goes out to you for having lost your family. I am SO very sorry. Sending thoughts of strength and love your way. *BIG HUG*
      Meagan

  31. Hopefully time will heal your sorrows. Time and your daughter. Children have that magic.

    But the person you lost is alive in your memories, your emotions Megan. You will never lose that Megan.

    • Children are magic, for sure! And yes, I am already less angry and more grateful to have known my amazing friend. She changed my life for the better, and now I get to pass it along. Thanks so much for your comment!

  32. I just lost a friend three months ago to cancer also. She made me smile, laugh, and be a better me. Her presence was so powerful. Her loss is so consuming. Thank you for articulating this loss so honestly for so many of us.

    • So very sorry for your loss, Workinprogress. Cancer is brutal. Sending good thoughts your wayl

      I know how you feel to be around someone with a powerful presence. That perfectly describes my amazing friend, too. Thanks for taking the time to share your experience with me.

  33. So much raw emotion. My friend died last year. It’s just so weird. Especially when you look at complete strangers like ‘do you know how it feels?’. Then it gets better, but it doesn’t stop hurting.
    You really touched me, thank you.

    • So sorry for the loss of your friend, thetinydreamer. It is very weird to lose someone. Like, where did they go? Can I find them if I look really really hard? Almost as if you’ll wake up and they will turn up.

      Thanks for the support–I’m feeling so much better than the angry day I wrote this post. i still miss my friend terribly, but I’m trying to just be grateful for having known her amazing self. Thanks so much for the kind comment.

    • I’m glad you found me, Julie. I love your peacocks. Thank you so much for the comment. It’s taking me a long time to work my way through each one. I I feel so grateful for the support I’ve received here that I’m trying to respond thoughtfully to each comment. Luckily, I noticed you “liked” a more recent post (though the like seems to have disappeared), so I already checked out your awesome blog earlier today. Pleased to meet you.

  34. Megan thank you for this post. My dad passed last year. Last week I found myself thinking I have to remember to call him ’cause I haven’t spoken to him in a while. It is all so strange.

    • I completely relate. I’ve lost several close friends over the past few years and haven’t deleted any of their numbers from my contacts. Seeing their names on the list makes me feel better, and I always am tempted to call them. At first I did, just to hear their voices on voicemail. It’s hard to let go. thank you, jazzytower, for sharing your experience with me.

  35. I’m so sorry you had to go through this. Your writing is so beautiful and touching made all the more amazing by the fact it’s from the heart. Now following, :) love with you xo

  36. I too recently lost a loved one – my mother – to cancer. It was unexpected and quick…so many things left unsaid which needed to be said, I miss her. Dearly. I miss the hope of her getting better…I send you peace and love. Love to you and to the love you two shared – that will never go away…all the best on your journey…

  37. So sorry to hear about your loss, truly is devastating when you lose someone close to you but rest assure that that person is looking over you giving you the strength to overcome everyday obstacles. It is a hard time of the year for this to. Hope things get better and an EXCELLENT post might I add. All the best x

  38. Hi Megan,

    I´m so sorry about that! Hope you will find enough strengh to find new hopes. We have always to remind us, how great the persons had been, that left us alone..

    The best wishes from me!

  39. Pingback: Amazing post | Getting to the "After" Life

    • Thank you, Country Man’s Wife, for visiting and reading and offering condolences. I’ve been so warmed by the kind responses I’ve received here. Also just followed your blog. Looking forward to learning about life in your neck of the woods. Best to you, Meagan

  40. Well it looks like you are meeting your goal of sucking less by writing more because this piece is wonderful and powerful.

    I myself committed suicide once. Killed myself in a hotel in San Francisco but they found me and brought me back to life. Its an odd thing to have survived because there are part of me that regret having done it. The vast and greater part regrets it. I regret hurting those that I cared about. It puts a bright light on may things in my life.

    But in truth, on occasion, rare but ponderous occasions, I wonder.

    I have resolved never to do it again because of people like you that have been hurt, and because I have seen a lot of death and I know it touches a lot of people. But I know what its like to be that fucked up.

    I appreciate your post. It was very powerful and I am sorry about your loss.

    • What a powerful comment! I read it several times and then went and read your story. Wow. A miracle that you survived. How painful it must have been for your family. Good luck and thanks for sharing your experience.

  41. What a poignant piece and a beautiful tribute to your friend… My condolences. I like to believe that the dead hear us; especially when we speak well of them… Blessings to you. {{{HUGS}}}

    • Thanks, Elizabeth, for your thoughtful condolences and your uplifting message. I’ve taken some big breaths since I wrote this post, and I’ve had the opportunity to speak well of my friend on several occasions. Very healing.

      All the best to you in the New Year. HUGS to you, too!! XXOO, Meagan

  42. Pingback: Easy Ways to Use Essential Oils in Your Home « Happy Home Naturals « Michel Web site

    • Thank you, rollinwithcarro, for reading and appreciating. Losing a close friend is a tough experience, but it does help to know I’m not alone. So many others have grieved the loss of friends and family, and I’m very comforted to read their stories and experiences and advice. I do hope my friend will always be with me, in some way, as you say. Thank you for sharing with me.

  43. I am so sorry for your loss and totally understand what you are going through. I love your writing, so honest.
    I lived in that fog for many months when I lost my younger brother and oldest sister, both to cancer 8 months apart. It was a horribly long year of pain, grief, sorrow, anger, despair and guilt but time does help. It doesn’t heal or cure everything but it does help when you work through all those emotions. I made it through by writing to them. I wrote pages and pages of poetry to both of them. Some of it sad, some angry, some confused but it helped me express what I needed to get out and helped me heal.
    Great post, thanks for sharing your soul, your pain.

    • I’m very sorry for your losses, Norma. So inspiring how poetry and writing helped you get through the experiences. Appreciate you sharing your own grief process, and for offering comfort. I’ve received so much warmth from all the kind comments left here. Thank you.

  44. I know how you feel because you described it so perfectly and it hurts me to read it and remember my recent loss of a good friend to cancer. Your writing style is beautiful Meagan. Thank you for sharing and congrats for being fresh pressed!

  45. I’m so sorry for your loss…remember the good times you spent with your friend, and know that a part of her will always be with you. The memories can never be taken away. This was beautifully written by the way.

  46. 3 1/2 years ago, I was where you are now. My best friend passed – also from cancer. I will not tell you that “it gets better”. Platitudes suck rocks. But it does “blur” a little, with time. And the better memories sharpen, become stronger, than the bad ones. The pain never goes away completely, but…

    There are still songs I can’t listen to. Still places that immediately bring her to my mind. And yet, there are other songs, other places, phrases we shared, that make me smile now, that once brought only tears.

    (HUGS) – and we all see you. We all know that you are alive, that you are here.

    And you are not alone.

    • Yes. Platitudes do suck rocks. But I’m actually surprised by how all the comments left here have comforted me, even if they are sorta typical stuff you say to someone who’s lost a friend.

      Thank you, Brea, for your fantastic and individual comment. And for your understanding. Sending you peace and love right back. Big hug to you, too!
      XXOO, Meagan

  47. Great and extremely sad passage, it’s touching yet really angry i many ways. It honestly captures deep human emotions during the most difficult of human times, i found it a really good read.
    Cheers.

    • Thanks for reading and relating. Grief is a strange emotion. Not one thing, but many. Anger is definitely a part of what I experienced, though I am less angry now and more resolved. I’ve been trying to focus on the good memories. Appreciate the comment. Best to you, Meagan

  48. Meghan, I too am truly sorry for your loss.

    However you blame God who is NOT to blame. God can only CAUSE good; but He does permit evil, and sad things for reasons not always clear to us.

    If you knew God your grief would still exist but it would have meaning.

    There is an afterlife even if not understood or denied.

    Your in my prayers,
    working4christ

    • God is probably confident enough to deal with my puny human anger, a natural part of grieving. Not sure about the meaning of grief, but I know getting through the experience can lead to greater understanding and empathy. I’ve been blessed to feel love and support from my family, friends,and fellow bloggers. That has made all the difference in getting through this loss. Wishing you all the best and thanks for your comment and prayers.
      Meagan

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  51. i lost my grandpa last 2months. i wasnt by his side. i still feel numb and dead. trying to not talk about him, but every little thing reminds me of him, and his words keep ringing in my head. :'( Maybe i’ll write about it one day.

  52. I was touched by this. Can so relate to this as i experienced my fathers loss on christmas eve. Not sure how long the grieving process lasts but all i try and do is believe his spirit is here with me so i feel his presence. Not sure if this is masking the truth or else… I am sorry for ur loss too…if u can find peace in happy memories…it sometimes helps xxx

    • So very sorry for the loss of your father. How difficult, especially on Christmas Eve. Sending you strength and peace for the holidays. Thanks for sharing. Hugs to you!
      Meagan

  53. This is really good. My friend passed way, not from cancer…but you described exactly what I felt – the invisible part – I think I have kicked anything living just from anger,from their oblivious living – I couldn’t watch TV for few weeks because here well all these people – LIVING! WHich annoyed the crap out of me… I am sorry. Hope you can find a way to get though the holidays.. x

    • Love this comment, brunelana. When terrible things happen, I’m always sorta stunned by how little changes around me. People still go where they go, laugh, eat, and act like life will last forever. I guess I do that, too, especially if I’m far removed from the terrible thing. Maybe I do normal stuff even MORE when I think of bad things happening to other people. As if the more vigorously I live, the farther away I feel from death and tragedy. Maybe that’s what other people do. I don’t know. But you understand how annoying it is when the world takes very little notice of our personal tragedies. Thanks for understanding. XOXO, Meagan

    • Mike. I did take a look at your post and was incredibly moved by the story of your relationship with Phil. Very sad. Sending you strength and good thoughts. XOXO, Meagan

  54. Pingback: Life and Death in the Blogosphere | Tales from the Motherland

  55. Pingback: Small acts of terrorism « Hot Pink Underwear

  56. Wow, reading this gave me goosebumps. I absolutely understand everywhere that you’re coming from. I had a friend who died from cancer last April, and it still sends shivers down my arms and neck when I think of him, which is every day.
    I love reading writers such as yourself who can so clearly and accurately tell such a moving story as this and make someone else feel the same pain.
    It’s incredible what you’ve written, and I admire the courage you have for letting this out for other bloggers like me to see. I’m sure your heart was breaking as you wrote this, but it is very much appreciated. I am new to WordPress, and seeing posts like this one really makes me feel like I have entered a whole new world. I’m following you and I’d love to read more.
    Thank you again for telling this story.

    • Hi Mayleen! Welcome to blogging. I still feel pretty new, myself. Will celebrate my 1-year anniversary of Hot Pink Underwear next month. Thank you for sharing your story–so many of us have had our lives altered by cancer and loss. I don’t know why, but it does feel better to share our stories with others and know we are not alone. You are not alone, MayleenBrianne. Welcome.

  57. Beautiful. I just lost my grandmother, 96 years old. She also had cancer. Lived a long, fulfilled life. For me her death meant finding faith, faith that I had been losing over the past…well lifetime.

    • So sorry for your loss, Jessica. I lost my grandma a few years ago from cancer, too. She was very brave and full of faith. I can’t say that the experience strengthened my own faith, but I can say that having hope at the end seems to make the experience easier for the dying person. Good luck with all that you are facing. Wishing you well, Meagan

    • Thanks, Casey. Losing a loved one is the pits, for sure. I’m finally over being angry about it and am trying to focus on the legacy she leaves. Keeping her alive in me…

  58. Know you are among those who understand and send warm condolence your way. My brother recently died. In some ways I feel he is more available to me in that I can connect with him on some different than physical level. In other ways the physical presence of my big brother is gone. That is the voice and the hug and the big blue eyes. I find it curious that the unconditional love and support remain. Pehaps the greatest gifts are those. I do so hope you find comfort in these reflections as well.

    • I’m so sorry for your loss, but I thank you for sharing you experience. I am warmed to know that you continue to feel the presence of your brother’s love. Thanks for your understanding and condolences. Yes, your reflections do bring me comfort. I send comfort and understanding back to you, as well.

  59. Pingback: Life and Death in the Blogosphere « Reader's Choice

  60. As I was scrolling down Fresh Pressed, I discovered this entry. I lost my best friend last year – March 18. Unexpectedly – very unexpectedly. One moment I was laughing with him and the next, I found him – an image that will never, ever leave me. I wrote a few a blogs about last year, then disappeared, until recently. I was blind sighted – never have I had such a life changing experience in my life and I am still trying so hard to deal with it. Everywhere I go and live, he is there. I worked for him, I lived next door to him, still live on his property, my entire life turned upside down. I can deal with being upside down, but not having him here…..I just miss him so much. Both of my parents passed away as a result of cancer and wouldn’t you know, my friend was there to ease the pain.

    I realize that death is a part of life, it’s unavoidable and we have to accept it, learn to let go. Letting go sucks though – I do know this much, I will carry him for always in my heart and soul and be thankful for the time I had with him.

    Thanks for reading:)

    kimberly

  61. I lost my closest friend in the whole world last year. March 2012 and I am still broken inside. I do believe he is still here – sometimes. I will say something and the words are not mine. Not sure how they got there, but I believe it is him.

    Your friend will live through you;)

    • Hi Kimberly.
      Please forgive me for taking so long to respond to your comment. I’ve been in a low space. Know, however, that I am deeply sorry for the loss of your friend. Processing grief is such a strange and individual experience. I send you good vibes and comfort as you continue to work through the pain and the missing. As you said, your friend will live through you. Wishing you strength and love.
      Meagan

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