My friend’s sister died yesterday. And in my usual way, I had this not so vague feeling of when she passed. I was sitting on the beach reading and I felt this overwhelming urge to call my friend. I did, she didn’t answer so I left a message. My friend texted me a short time later that Suzannah was gone.
I do not know how I knew. I have never met Suzannah. I think I have only seen a photo of her once. But I am connected to her sister, my friend. Her I love and miss and my heart aches for right now. I am so sad that her oldest sister has joined her mother on the other side of life.
My friend is a very talented writer. Much more so than me. She is literary while I really just tap out my heart and soul in letters that become words and sentences. She can really write. I am reading her book now which is all about her mother. Her mother who died young and tragically. So even though I didn’t know Suzannah, I feel like I know her better because of the book.
I am having that feeling that I always get when I read a book I really love, it is the feeling of savoring...like I do not want to read it too fast because I don’t want it to end. Now I feel this even more acutely because as long as I pause my reading, Suzannah and Margot remain living. Like my reading the book spares them their fates. Silly, but it is how I feel in this moment.
I feel especially sad that Suzannah’s only real wish was to live to see her 50th birthday in November which, of course, didn’t happen. Instead departing this world in June, months away from November.
I feel for my friend and her family. My heart breaks for all of them whose loss of their mother still looms large and casts a dark shadow. I can only imagine that Suzannah brings all the past pain current.
So I cry for my friend and her family and their loss. I feel sad and a bit torn up by the loss of something that I don’t even understand, the loss of a sister since I have no siblings. I don’t know what that loss might feel like or how that might be especially injurious. But, then again, perhaps I do. Perhaps I feel some sense of sisterhood with my friend, while not the same, gives me an inkling of what it might feel to experience loss in this way.
My friend’s talent for writing has brought her family alive to me in such a way that I feel connected and a part of something that does not belong to me which is why she is such an amazing writer. I told her the other day that we must get her book published because the world needs to read it. It is a tragically beautiful story written in prose that is exquisite and lovely and human.
But today she grieves and the book falls away. Hardly important in its telling. The book being overshadowed by a new, fresh pain. I always want something tangible to do when someone dies but I remain a country away from them and there is nothing I can do other than to hold space for her, when she needs me.
So today I send love and light to my friend and her family. I pray that they are able to find in each other comfort and love and happy memories of their sister. I hope they can come together and allow the loss to bring them closer still.
For Suzannah, I pray that you are reunited with your mom. I pray that you are free from all the limits this life placed on you. I pray that you are happy, joyous and free, finally.
For my friend, I pray that she writes about this. That she goes on to tell the story of each of her family members in the same manner that she did her mother’s. She is part of a rare and wonderful thing, a family broken, scarred but loving. They all lived through their mother’s life and the hardship it sometimes projected but in their communal survival, they learned to lean on each other. Because of that, today they have the home family provides as they navigate yet another loss. My most sincere and honest wish for them is that they go to Boom Quarry together and if that log is still there, twirl it with naked abandon...one more time for Suzannah.