Lux Thinking Aloud

A Tribute To A Friend I Lost

1:04 AM

A Tribute To A Friend I Lost
Remember me and smile, for it's better to forget 
than to remember me and cry.
-Dr. Seuss

How do you say goodbye to a friend? Answer: You don’t.

I lost a friend two months ago to cancer. Her name’s Donna. She was a breast cancer survivor. But, Big C came back and got hold of her liver.

She was a fighter even before cancer. I know her struggles. She never hesitated to share her story. She’s more than ten years my senior but I never felt the generation gap. We both love cute, girly stuff, juvenile things; chick flicks, young adult themed stories (she’s not much of a reader, but she liked the movie versions), and she’s still crushing on celebrities. We're both cheesecake and tea lovers.

The news left me numb at first. I was having dinner with some friends, and was going out of town the following day when a friend texted me the sad news. How do you say goodbye to a friend?

I was thinking about bailing out of the summer outing with my other friends. Then I thought, Nang Donna, who was very outgoing, and one of those who always tried to push me out of my dungeon, will disapprove. No, she would have thrown my bag out of the door if I won't  go. She’s always been supportive, pushy even. She wanted me to go out there, enjoy my youth as she would often tell me before, see places, meet people, experience new things. She was an extrovert and my personality used to bug her.

I dedicated my first surfing experience to her. I was sure it made her happy, seeing me out there, as she always wanted me to. 

Sure I posted my goodbye to her page to grieve with the rest of the people she left behind. But, the people we love never really leave. They will always be alive in our hearts.

When scary thoughts start creeping in, I ask her to shoo them away. She always defended me then. She was always on my side, and believed in me when other people didn’t.

When I don't feel okay, tired, hurt, or simply feeling blah, in my mind, I tell her like I used to when she was still around. And, in my heart I feel like she’s telling me the things she used to say, “Oh, well, that’s life. That’s how it is. People will always be like that. There’s nothing you can do about them. Let them be. Just shake it off. Let’s eat! Let’s shop!” 

She always had a ready smile. Though she had her own personal fight, she always had something positive and nice to say when I needed a boost.

I sure grieved, but not for long. Because, I know she doesn't want to dwell in sadness herself. Sure, like any women she was emotional. The funny thing about her is that she tells you her emo stories with laughter. Like she knew she was being silly, but she couldn't help it. So, you just laugh it off together, though you know it's a serious topic. 

I feel her absence when I see something that I know she would have liked, or hear a story she would have been interested with. The last time we talked, she told me she’s got a story for me. Sometimes, I tell her, “How dare you leave me hanging. You still owe me one juicy gossip.”

I will always hear her high pitched voice criticizing me when I don't wear makeup, when my bag or shoes don't go with my dress, or when I'd rather stay in and read a book than go out on a weekend. I will always imagine her stern look when she disapproves of something, or when she thinks someone’s not treating me right (and she’ll threaten to slap them herself). 

Though I'd end up putting my legs up for hours at the end of the day after shopping with her (she’s the unbeatable tireless shopping and ukay queen), I’d always miss those trips.

How do you say goodbye to a friend? You don’t. 

I won’t. 

We'll catch up over cheesecake and tea again, Nang Donna.
I can't wait to hear your story.

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  1. I like your closing sentence, they live on in our hearts.