… to report here. Shortly after my last post, I received word that a very good friend of ours, the best man at our wedding, had died earlier that day. I can’t even begin to express how shocking this news was as none of us knew he was sick at all, let alone that he had been diagnosed with a mild form of lymphoma several years before. He chose to tell no one and his family only learned of his earlier diagnosis–and that the cancer had turned deadly very suddenly–at the beginning of February. We found out he was in the ICU about two weeks ago, but he gave no indication of how sick he was, and he wouldn’t tell us what was wrong, nor would he tell us the hospital where he was staying. We wanted to visit, but he was to ill for company, so we waited for him to tell us when he’d be ready. We focused on the one phrase we were given–recovery is going slow–so we had no preparation for the email we were sent a few days later that meant, in fact, that there was no recovery at all. He was 36.
We are still at the age where we are attending weddings and housewarmings and sending tiny little gifts for new babies. We expect to catch up with old friends during joyous occasions, at reunions and parties, at the various conferences and retreats to which we all invariably show up. Nowhere in my conscious did occur to me that we might meet again at a funeral. I expect that our grandparents are failing, and older relatives are beginning to suffer from the maladies of old age, even that our parents are beginning to show their age, but I didn’t expect this, couldn’t, can’t believe that we’ve lost one of our own… a peer, a confidant, a damn good friend with so many quirks you couldn’t help loving him, someone so memorable that he left an indelible mark in the thoughts of all those he knew even for a short time. And that he was sick, and chose to deal with it all by himself, and didn’t reach out until it was too late… what can you do with these thoughts?
So please forgive me for my emotional indulgence… there will be more knitting news later, but I’m afraid for now I’m stuck contemplating a terrible and permanent loss that I can’t make any sense of, one that even yet doesn’t feel a part of my reality.