The issue of “priorities” is always a bit of a bear for me, but lately … Since May, I have lost two friends who were writers. When I say “lost,” I mean they died. They were both writers who left things unfinished. Not because they were careless in their work or undisciplined or anything else like that, but because their time here was cut tragically short. They both left behind unfinished projects they loved and longed to complete. They left behind goals they had not yet achieved. Is there a writer living who doesn’t have incomplete projects and goals? I don’t see how there could be, because writing is an ongoing process, just like living.
Importantly, here is what neither of them left behind: people in their respective lives who now are in some doubt about whether they were loved by one (or both) of these women. When it came to caring for their friends and their families, they left nothing unfinished. I want to tell you things about each of them, but I can’t bring myself to use their names simply because I cannot do either of them justice. I don’t want to disappoint the people who knew them, but I have to write something down about them. Something that must be shared. Forgive me in advance for all the ways this effort will be lacking.
I’m not going to go into how each of them died – the sheer unfairness of both their situations will overwhelm me, and I might spin off into a rant as I am wont to do. Made for cliché, right? “Life’s not fair.” Yes. Check. Knowing that life isn’t always fair, and being able to say those words out loud doesn’t make it easier to take. The phrase is a crutch for us when we don’t know what else to say. I don’t know what else to say about either of their deaths, and I refuse to resort to that phrase.
My two friends were the same in many ways, but also quite different. I don’t even know if they knew each other, but they had quite a few friends and acquaintances in common. One (let’s call her “L”) had golden hair that was always doing its own beautifully curly thing, and ice blue eyes that were like tractor beams. Continue reading