Wednesday, February 6, 2013
I Miss My Friend
Grief is a weirdly elastic thing. When you first lose someone you love, you feel as if all the oxygen in the room has been sucked out and you are left gasping and grasping at anything that will sustain you. Slowly, slowly, you learn to breathe in this air that has lost its oxygen and, sadly, you go on. Then, BOOM, all of a sudden, you realize that you are actually LIVING IN AN ATMOSPHERE DEPRIVED OF OXYGEN, and you are again left gasping.
This happened to me today, as it has many times during this year, when I was preparing to meet with women from Susan's prayer group to remember her in prayer at the Eucharistic Adoration chapel of our church. I was watching a video on Inflammatory Breast Cancer on the Inflammatory Breast Cancer Foundation page and, suddenly, I was back in the rawness of loss.
I am incredibly grateful to Susan for being so generous with herself, her time, her love, her smile, her passion. I'm grateful to her family and friends for sharing her with me. Knowing her has profoundly changed me. She taught me so much about the mystery of suffering and the mystery of love.
I can intellectualize til the cows come home about the loss I feel. I can place it into its proper theological and psychological context. I have hope of seeing Susan again: if anyone is with the Crucified and Risen Lord, He who ended Death's dominion, it is Susan. In so many ways, the essenstial Susan is with us still, in the love she engenders among those who know her -- I felt that so strongly in the chapel today. The reverberations of Susan's life are all around.
But still, I miss my friend. God bless you, Susan.
Please consider honoring the wonderful woman by making a donation to the Inflammatory Breast Cancer Foundation, and please remember -- not all breast cancer has a lump. Know your body and trust it when it tells you something isn't right.