Sunday, July 26, 2009

Missing Edie

Well, this was not how we planned it, huh, Edie?

Your breast cancer diagnosis came only a few days after mine, and we sat on the sofa at your place laughing because we were cradling our left arms in identical discomfort. You ran out of Lortab - I had some to spare. The deal was that we would pester each other along until we were both well. I'm almost there; you still had a long way to go.

I wasn't totally delusional. I knew your condition was life-threatening. Of course, I knew. But I had dumb ideas about cancer, I guess. My misperception was that you would finish all of the treatments, and then we would see. Maybe you would be cured (the magic word that doctors never really say to cancer patients); and if the cancer recurred, there would be plenty of time to try again. Or plenty of time to say good-bye.

It didn't really occur to me that anything could happen so quickly. How could you be feeling so great last weekend? (I mean, we were CAMPING, for Pete's sake. Drinking gin and tonics, goofing around with your wig collection.) How can it be that you could wake up in the wee hours of Wednesday with an infection and be dead by Friday morning? It's like Patty said: "I still owe her $6 for the lunch she picked up on Tuesday."

I simply can't hold on to the idea that you're gone. I tell myself over and over. Edie's dead. No more Edie. Get it? No more Edie. I try it on with all different wordings and tones of voice. It skids right off my brain. I don't even cry much. I spent Friday lying on my bed, staring at the wall; the weekend staring straight ahead, waiting to understand. I'm sure it will start to sink in soon. I talked to Mark tonight. He says he's in shock. Maybe that is what I'm feeling - shock?


It isn't fair that I got off so easy and you didn't. I get no enjoyment just now from knowing that I'm getting better, 'cause you're not. And I know what you would say if you were here. "Here she goes again! You're doing it, you know. God, you are SO BAD this way! You over-think everything. You just mind-fuck yourself." One of the things I liked best about you was that you were free of that self consciousness that is such a problem for me. What do they think of me? Will I be judged? Will every one approve? You expected acceptance for who you were, with no varnish and no pretence. You spoke your mind without second thoughts. I never had to wonder what was on YOUR mind, that's for sure!

I'm an atheist, you know. It's very sad to be an atheist when someone dies. There is none of the comfort of believing in an afterlife, or a better place, or reincarnation. There is just a...lack. Deals made and dissolved; and big, ugly holes where you are supposed to be.

15 comments:

Amrita said...

Dear Kate this punched my soul real hard.

John Donne rightly said "Any man 's death diminishes me".

I am so sorry to hear this Kate.

I am a Christian, I wish I could comfort you. There is life beyond this one Kate. There is plenty of proof. You just have to believe.

Love, Amrita

suesun said...

There's so much I could say.... so many thoughts this post brought up. About death. And life. And afterlife. But really, there's just a big hole and I wanted you to know that I'm thinking about you.

Alice Kildaire said...

aw Kate, don't suppose there's much of anything to say, but know you're being thought of and hugged from afar

Weber said...

Kate...so well put. Every time the thought that Edie is gone pops into my head, I feel total shock. While we were camping, I kept thinking about how good she looked. It's so very sad. Book club will not be the same. You could always count on Edie to be there. Plus you knew she totally enjoyed it because she was always the first one to show up.

Rich said...

Weber is right. I commented on just how well Edie looked, even without the hair. She just seemed herself just a little over a week ago. Your post is accurate and brings a tear to my eye. And to think, we talked about Eddie and I going to their house for a little barbecue and music playing.... You stay on the healthy track, Kate!

The World According To Me said...

I am in shock, so I can't imagine how you are feeling.
Life just isn't fair sometimes is it. Rest in peace Edie.

Take care.

PS For what it's worth I believe in the after life and that Edie is in a better place.

Lulubelle B said...

Kate -

I'm so sorry for your loss. Please take care of yourself.

- Lulu

CINNIBONBON said...

I'm sorry --so sorry for your loss.

Leesa said...

Hi Kate,

I'm am very sorry about your dear friend. I lost my beloved mom to breast cancer just a few years ago, and it both seems like just yesterday and also an eternity ago.... I miss her so much and think of her all the time... I know it's so incredibly hard to lose someone you love.
I know there is really no comfort in such a great loss, even as someone who believes in God, you're never really "sure" of what there is after this life...
I do know your friend is "at peace" but the pain of the physical loss is great for those of us who are left grieving....
What we have left to remember the person who is gone from our sight are all of the cherished memories and the person's spirit lives in our heart... Not a perfect consolation, but we always hold the person close to us...
Love,
Leese

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