Six years ago this week a piece of my heart shriveled like a rose too long without water. My best friend/sister and knower of my dreams died. She didn’t die quickly. The small cell carcinoma took small, steady nibbles …her hair, her lung, her ability to cook, and to eat. She watched comedies on tv to pass the days when she wasn’t having poison drip, drip, dripped into her. I couldn’t hug her becase her blood counts were so low that it might kill her. She planned her funeral, asking me to read a poem I had written about her 25 years earlier. She told me she didn’t know if she was doing this dying correctly. She didn’t understand what people meant when they told her she had to fight this cancer. I told her that’s just the bullshit people say when they are at a loss for comforting, soft words.
She died in late July. She was 67 years old. The line at the wake wound round the block. She had touched so many lives, and she had embraced mine since we met as locker mates the first day of high school. We were 14.
The day she died, I had a dream. She and I were in a store that sold antique baby clothes. I tried to touch her, to speak to her, but she was ahead of me, just out of reach. As she was going out the door, she turned to me and handed me a silver cup engraved with the words “All is Well.”. I sure hope so.