Saturday, March 24, 2018

kick-starting grief

My dearest friend Zahida passed away just over 3 weeks ago. Super aggressive metastatic breast cancer, 14 months from diagnosis.
I'd written that last post some time before I published it. She read this blog and I was torn between not wanting to make the pain any more nuanced for her but needing to write this shit out. I had that in drafts and the Friday I published it she was in hospital, not answering any messages, my only updates were via her sister and part of me genuinely thought I'd not ever see her again.

I did. Twice over that weekend I was lucky enough to see her in hospital. Both times I was summonsed by that dear girl, just me and her family and her husband. We said our goodbyes, we said everything we wanted to say, we laughed together, we cried so many tears, we held hands and said thank you. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

She passed away on the following Wednesday, first thing in the morning, and after the Janazah and the endless messages and calls, after we buoyed her family through the first 48 hours, even after her younger sister and I cleared out her closets and arranged a birthday party for her daughter - can you even conceive of turning 8 just a week after losing your mum? Even after all of that I couldn't really comprehend it.
I still couldn't have the ugly cry.

My body did all the things it likes to do in times of stress. A UTI, eczema and eventually sinusitis. I wasn't sleeping, I wasn't feeling and I wasn't grieving - not properly. I knew it was there, just out of sight, lurking, and I wanted to feel it. I felt so detached from her for not being able to weep.

So on Thursday I did what I'd been putting off, what I'd frankly wondered whether I would do at all.
I wrote the tear-jerker Facebook post, I put it out there. While I was writing it the tears came, and while I read all the subsequent messages and DM's and emails which it triggered I wept and wept.
I kick-started the grief and now it is here. And while it is awful, it also feels good to feel.

It's been just over 3 weeks and I'm still in shock.
We were supposed to be crones together, Zahida and I. Stylish crones of course.
She made me try harder. She opened my eyes and filled my heart. She had the most magnificent laugh. She had the most enormous brain. 
We bore babies together, we cooked and danced and laughed and cried together. 
She filled my home with beautiful things, my life with joy and my head with questions and thoughts I'd never have had without her.
And in the last year she gave me the greatest gift - the honour of walking with her to the edge of the light.
About 6 months ago she said 'Are you sure you don't want to get off here Mols, it's going to be a roller coaster of a ride'.
I didn't once consider it, and I'll eternally be grateful that she allowed me to stay.
I only wish I was as sure how to navigate the world without her.
Miss you friend, miss you forever.

No comments: