Monday, July 05, 2004

Ashes to ashes, Dust to dust 

I lost a friend today. No, not Hiker. Things are looking bleak with him, but as of this afternoon he was still with us. He still hasn't given an inch in his fight with leukemia. No, the friend who passed on was Jelly, a friend of mine from high school. (These nicknames may seem rather stupid when I try to talk seriously--they probably are--but this one actually predated the weblog.) She was 43, was injured in a motorcycle accident back in June and died this morning from complications after surgery. A stupid, senseless death.

Anyway, I just spent about an hour avoiding writing to her sister. I reread the e-mail bearing the bad news, I read the other mails we had got today, I looked at the last few mails I sent to Jelly (I was really meaning to write her again soon, but you know how that goes), then I read the first electronic letter I wrote her back in 1992. Despite having taken the time to do a mound of dishes, I was still in shock. What do I say? I haven't spoken to any of Jelly's family for over fifteen years. And I've never met her husband--only spoken to him briefly on the phone. (My father-in-law died right before their wedding, so we weren't able to attend.) I've learned enough to keep such messages simple, though the temptation to crack a joke or wax poetic did make a slight nudge. So I ended up sending our condolences and letting the family know that they're in our prayers. I'll have to find a halfway decent card and send that to Jelly's husband, since I have his real-mail address. The problem is, I don't know him well enough to know whether to send him a sappy, generic boo-hoo-hoo card or an in your face, f**k death, Jesus is gonna raise us up again card. That's the problem of not being there, mourning with the loved ones. Human feelings and the words (or silence) they need to hear change with the passing moments. Ah, well, better to say something stupid than to not say at all.

Another thing, I feel like a whore, posting this all in a weblog. I mean, even though I have cause to mourn, it truly is someone else's story I'm writing here. But then, I really don't think I'd be able to concentrate on my planned post concerning yesterday's activities. Real life doesn't wait for me to post in my blog. Heck, maybe one day the posts will just stop, a silent clue that it was my turn to go. Quite selfishly, I hope that happens before I get word of another loved one's death. But "the Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away. Blessed be the name oif the Lord."