If you recall, I posted a few weeks back about a family friend of mine who was suffering from cancer and was given just weeks to live.
She lost her fight at around 1:00 this morning.
I did not know her personally. She was a childhood friend of my mother, who ended up living in Virginia and Kentucky. Because of that, I never met her.
When I woke up this morning, I went to turn off the alarm on my phone and saw a text from my mother: “She* died.”
I stared at my phone for a while, trying to figure out how to process the news I’d just been given. My mind instantly went to her two children–fourteen year old twins. They have to go through the rest of their lives without their mother. I went to check her CaringBridge website, and sure enough, a post from her husband appeared explaining that, yes, she had died with her husband, parents, and children by her side.
Still trying to figure out how to process what had happened, I got up, got ready for class, and went to my 9:30AM lecture. I couldn’t focus in class. My mind was racing between thinking of her children, her husband, her parents, her family, and my mother. My mother is home, three hours away, sick with the flu. My brother isn’t exactly the emotional type, and since my stepdad is also sick, my mom is pretty much processing the news of the death of her childhood friend with just my dog. If I could find a way home, I would. Unfortunately, there’s one way in and out of this town for me to get home: a bus that leaves from my campus at 5:25pm on Friday night and returns at 4:00pm on Sunday. It comes once, it leaves once. That’s it. Today is Tuesday. I’m stuck here.
Eventually, somewhere in my bout of not paying any attention in class, I started crying. I made my way out to the hall and sat on a bench for a few minutes, before making my way into the bathroom, where, for some reason, I started crying harder.
I pulled it together eventually and made my way back to class, where I continued to pay no attention. I opened my laptop and started searching flights to Washington D.C., where a memorial service will take place next weekend. Her funeral is this Thursday, and my mom is way too sick to go. She may attend the memorial, and if she does, I want to be there.
That sounds strange, coming from someone who never met her, but I want to be there. For her, for her children, for her husband–for the family I feel I’ve come to know through CaringBridge updates. I want to be there for my mom, too.
After class, I headed back to my empty dorm where I continued to cry. I cried for at least an hour. Eventually, I wandered around my dorm building, talking to some friends in the oh-so-famous lobby of our building, a hotspot for me and my friends, before I got up and just started walking.
I didn’t have a destination, I just needed to get out of my building. I HAD to. I walked across the infamous footbridge on my campus, over the river and over to a popular street in my college town. The street is filled with little shops, quite a few bars, restaurants, tattoo parlors…It’s all there.
I wandered and wandered, going into a few shops before eventually purchasing a teeshirt with my father’s high school logo on it for $5 from a small shop. Why? I don’t know. Why not? Truthfully, I also bought a small stuffed animal giraffe off Amazon today, a giraffe I plan on naming after her. I guess I drown my sorrows by spending money I don’t have.
I ate a quick lunch at Subway by myself, made my way back to campus, and now here I sit: alone in my dorm, skipping my afternoon class, writing a blog post while Ed Sheeran music plays quietly out of my Beats Pill in the background. It’s…calm. Something her family will not have for a while.
It’s strange, to have a reaction like this to the death of a woman I’ve never even met. I guess I feel the most sad for her children.
Why I’m telling you this, I don’t know. I’m not sure what the point of this post is, to be completely honest.
That being said, I hope you have a better week than I will, squadlings. Godspeed.
*The name of the deceased has been hidden out of privacy and respect for the family.