a milestone of sorts


Yesterday my bestie would have been 55. Now I’m doing that thing. Counting on years to those who have left. She wasn’t 55 she won’t be 56 etc so is there any point in trying to drag the dead along with us numerically?

It’s almost five months since she died! I can’t stand that. How can that much time have passed. It’s still so desperately raw I want to scream so she hears me.

I remember the last time I spoke to her,  ending the call with ‘love you’. She couldn’t say ‘I love you’. There was a pause, she tried, but she couldn’t say it. We’d talked about that many times – how she couldn’t say it to her children even despite feeling bucket loads of it. She thought it was her stiff upper lip British childhood. I knew it anyway. I’ve replayed her actual goodbye in my head so many times – the last time I saw her she knew it would be, and gave it all she had. I didn’t know it but turned on her stairs to wave, and heard it in her voice. ‘Goodbye my DEAR friend’.

I just want to hear that again, anything, anything at all.

I made all sorts of mental notes to do things better, differently, just do things! when she died. I’m no closer and I don’t know how to get there. For now I look after mother, go to work, worry about daughter. I’m tired and I miss you very much Al. I’m not honouring your life and wonderful, joyful spirit by shining.

Grandfather time plays cruel games, randomly plucking off those much loved while leaving others to wither slowly. What is my lesson in all this?


grandfather time plays

cruel games of random plucking

leaves others mourning


aged mother barely moves

daytime television blasts

stories forgotten


on the middle path

we are where we’re meant to be

what is my lesson?


Related posts :

God and the Buddha – both were involved

still grieving

death done well

the big C calls the shots my friend


49 thoughts on “a milestone of sorts

  1. Sorry that you are grieving the loss of your friend. Eventually you’ll get to a place where you can see that by getting on with things, you are honoring her memory. It’s really all we can do.

  2. I’m sorry for your loss. Beautiful deep poem. Thanks.

  3. Such a terrible loss and your grief is so raw. The poem is beautiful and honours your friend. I wish I could think of something more encouraging to say xxx

  4. What a great tribute to your friend. We never forget those who leave us too soon. I understand what you’re feeling – my friend Sally passed away in 2011. Keep writing.

  5. Forgive me for being blunt, dear Annie. But in my opinion, the point is not to honor her. Your love for her is part of the honor… and the black hole in your world, is part of the honor too. But what is most important, is that you find yourself as much a complete person as you possibly can. Then, you’ll be able to relate to her memory differently, and to give to those you care for differently. Then you will be able to find new friends. Mourning is a sort of incapacity… and often we don’t see it for what it is. Sometimes we confuse it with loyalty or love for the person who has gone. We’re just here temporarily in any case. And while we’re here, time is running down the drain How tragic it is to lose still another part of our lives, while mourning an earlier time that is gone behind us. Have courage.

  6. To mourn, it’s a healing process that has to be experienced… one where memories and life find their happy balance, in the end that the mourning ceases and the celebration of life takes over with the happy memories of those that have passed on.. to mourn is to heal, don’t try to avoid it, but rather to embrace it..

  7. Five months already. It doesn’t seem that long ago. It takes a lot of time to ‘shine’ when you lose someone. Two of my friends died in their mid-twenties and I feel like I shine for them now, but it took a long, long time. Your tribute is absolutely beautiful here. Stay strong, my friend…

  8. Give yourself time Annie.. The loss of someone special turns your life upside down. Your world as you knew it has changed and those changes take time to adjust to a new ”normal.’. One day at a time. …Julia

  9. My dear friend this is very touching. May you find some comfort in your loving thoughts and memories of your friend.

  10. Sorry for the lost of your friend. Will be praying you receive comfort for your lost.


  11. Dear Annie, your life over the past five months has certainly been jam-packed with stuff I’m sure you’d have preferred not to deal with all at once. And yet, you must, for here it is. Every moment you remember your friend with love, you’re honoring her. And she knows it, I’m certain of that! I know it’s frustrating to not see the greater scheme of your life. I, too, struggle to see the forest so dense with trees, and each tree so familiar and huge. Know that you’re not lost, and that sunny glen is just ahead! xoxoM

  12. You have a lot on your plate, Annie. You are not dishonoring your friend … you honor her every time you remember her and the love and friendship between the two of you. You honor her with your memories. She knows how hard this time of your life is right now. She wants you to be well – and happy. Hugs. xoxoxoxoxo

  13. Strangely, I seem to have had dear ones die early on… my best friend when we were in our early 20s, a dear boy friend in my 30s who died 2 years after we split… and then hearing of 2 other boyfriends who’d also passed away in their 40s. As a result, I’ve always been so mindful of living life well and trying to make good choices to do so… as you’ve said, to just make sure I am honoring them. Those are some pretty big expectations to put on yourself but it really IS important that we not waste away hours, days, years in worry and idleness. Also, just being grateful for every little thing is a great way to honor anyone who’s no longer with us. Just be grateful.

  14. unfetteredbs

    truly sorry for your pain. This was a lovely post though. Your poem was very touching. I cannot imagine the hole you feel A.
    Quietly I wish you peace

  15. Annie, she is in your heart and that honors her. You are living and caring for those around you. As you wrote in your poem, you are right where you need to be. I can’t imagine losing a best friend. Be kind to yourself. oxoxoxo

  16. What greater honor can there be than someone that loves you, holds you in their heart, misses you when you’re not there?

    You shine, Annie.

  17. Annie, I felt the hurt in your heart when I read that.
    Tim’s right, you do shine.
    I love this post.

  18. I don’t know how I missed this post, Annie. {{{Hugs}}} and calm breaths. Lovely poem. Lovely tribute. She feels your love. I’m sure of it.

  19. westseventhfreelance

    You visited me and now I am blessed to find you and explore your words and images. Though it is not possible for me to know of the relationship and depth of loss, I honor your journey-

    Sending you best wishes from Minnesota, Stina

    • Thank you for those kind words. She was one of my best friends. When our children were younger we lived in the same street and so it began..her journey with cancer, and our years of friendship.


  20. I lost a very dear friend some years back, it took much more time than I thought it would to feel any sense that the loss of her and the gap in my life would never be filled but that I would always have my memories of laughter and time shared .
    It is early days … at some point you won’t feel quite so raw and a corner will have been turned . Take care .

    • Thanks so much for letting me know you understand Poppy.
      It Is early days you’re right..but reading your post I thought of her laughter she was quite tiny and elegant but this huge laugh, head back, hair everywhere 🙂

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