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It's been a year, my friend...

It’s been a year since my best friend decided it was time to leave this realm for the next one. It’s been a strange year, filled with unforeseen difficulties and hardship, not least because she’s not around to talk about the weirdness life sends my way.

She was always a riot, a whirlwind filled with concern, love and unapologetic honesty. She told it like she saw it, sometimes that was excruciating but it always brought you to the edge of your seat and made you look at the world differently from before, which was always helpful and good.

Now all the things that happen pile up in my heart, turning slowly to stone until I meet her again and we can compare our books and I can tell her all that I don’t get to now.

It’s a strange life without her in the world, this friend who asked me at 11 or 12 years old if I wanted to be her friend. We were walking home from school and I just shrugged my shoulders and said "ok". I’d never been asked that before. We were friends after that. Sometimes it was rocky, but always honest and clear.

And I miss her endlessly, not least because she called bullshit when she saw it and wasn’t afraid to tell me off when I needed a good scolding, and on the other hand she could be all warmth and giggles when the mood called for it. She was all heart.

I remember a particular time. We were teenagers, walking to rent a movie with our boyfriends at the time and suddenly a little child, maybe 3 or 4 years old came running alone down a slope. It happened very fast, but she just bent down, put her arms out and the kid ran straight into her arms and she swooped her up. She comforted the child and proceeded to find out where she belonged. The child loved her immediately.

That was the kind of person she was. Open arms, especially when it came to children, and people who couldn’t fend for themselves. She could be all claws, but her heart was always warm, honest and true.

I miss you endlessly my friend and I hope your heart is lighter and may we meet again in a better place. We’ll sit and watch the sunset, talk about the trips we didn’t get to take and all the things that have been since we last talked. And forgive me for not being able to do more to help you, the world was a better place with you in it, but I also know how hard it was on you.

Thank you for the lifetime of friendship, I will never stop thinking that “this” is something I need to tell you and I see reminders of you out in the world all the time, the ravens mucking about in my garden, the song that always reminds me of you comes magically on the radio, or just a glimpse of light echoing through the heart.

Thank you my friend, I know you’re in a better place.


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