One Less Friend

She’s not going to be reading today’s post.

I feel an emptiness knowing she’s not here, with all of you, today.

It makes me so sad.

I want to thank everyone for their kind words yesterday.

Photo:  Rose – in dedication to my friend, Val.

I’m still reeling in shock and grief at the loss of a friend.

At the same time, I feel like I don’t have a right to grieve.

Her family, her husband, her daughter, her best friends … my heart aches for them.

Condolences should be for them, not for me.

Val was my neighbor for years.

We did neighborly things together, and we did friend things together.

One Halloween she came over and sat in my living room.

We drank wine, giggled like school girls, and handed out candy to Trick Or Treaters.

For quite awhile, we were close … and then, we weren’t.

She moved out of the neighborhood; our lives separated.

A few years ago, I ran into her at a local beauty salon.

We started getting our nails done at the same time, every few weeks.

We would talk nonstop the entire time, catching up on each other’s lives.

We reconnected.

We shared news of our daughters, and my sons.  They had been young children together.

We shared stories of our traveling husbands and mutual friends.

We discussed wines, wineries, travel destinations, and favorite hotels.

We chatted on Facebook.

I realized she’d been reading 24 regularly, even before we re-connected in person.

In March, as many of you know, I was informed I needed a breast biopsy.

Val was extremely supportive of me from the moment she read of my “bad” mammogram.

She had gone through a similar experience a few years ago.  As a result, she became involved in helping women with breast cancer.

As I went through tests and biopsies,

Val called me repeatedly with information, support, and encouragement.

She offered, quite sincerely, to be at all my appointments with me – even the really mundane ones.

She texted me to keep my spirits optimistic.

She even stayed in touch with me when she was out of the country on vacation.

I can honestly say, as I went through breast-stress, she was there for me more than anyone else in my life.

We’ve been trying to plan a lunch, between her schedule and mine ….

A lunch date that will never happen now.

When I last talked to Val,

I thought to myself, “Life is funny sometimes.”

Someone can be very important to you, then move completely out of your life, and then back into it again.

I was happy to have Val back in my life.

This coming June, would mark twenty years of knowing her.

Val was only in her forties.

She had a smart-ass, snarky, and sarcastic sense of humor.

Is it any wonder we got along?

She also had a great laugh.

I keep hearing her laughter ….

We never think our friends will be gone so suddenly – so unexpectedly.

Val was vibrant, and so full of life.

I think, as a regular reader, she would be excited to see one of my posts dedicated just to her.

I hope so.

I will miss her.

26 Responses to “One Less Friend”

  1. Judi

    This is a beautiful tribute, and again I’m sorry for your loss. You do have a right to grieve, and I’m sure you’ll also be supportive and a source of comfort to her family.

  2. Elaine

    I’m very sorry for your loss, and for her family and other loved ones. What caused her to die at such a young age?

  3. Diane

    She was so young. 🙁 Condolences to her family who are most likely in shock at this loss in their lives.

  4. laura m

    So beautifully written and I know she would love it, simply because it’s from your heart and filled with so much love! Hugs

  5. Denise

    I am so sorry for everyone who loved her and will miss her terribly. And that includes you, Suzanne.

  6. WebSavvyMom

    –>Val sounded like a wonderful friend and neighbor. I love sassy, sarcastic women with a great laugh.

  7. Gaelyn

    Good friends are often closer to us than blood family. You are lucky to have her in your life, and now your memories. Grieve.

  8. Missy

    I am so sad for you right now. I know what it’s like to loose someone so suddenly. You are in shock for quite a while. Again I’m thinking of you……

  9. Joy

    This is beautiful. May we all get so gracious and loving a tribute from our friends…

    Thinking of you, and all those who love Val. May peace find you all.

  10. Linda M

    Many people touch our lives in unexpected ways–often not realized until these people are gone. Just because she had a family and other friends does not mean your friendship was valued any less.

    Having watched my husband go through a similar experience just 3 weeks ago, I also know that grief hits people in different ways. The loss of his colleague (for 25+ years) as well as a friend since they were in kindergarten put him in a week of numbness & shock. Me, I bawled every time I thought about what happened and what could never be again for them. I knew his friend, of course, through work parties and picnics, and was friendly with him, yet would probably not consider myself a friend. And I bawled. For a week.

    Do what you need to do to allow yourself to grieve, and know there are others who care about you…

  11. Jo Anne

    What a beautiful tribute — you were both blessed for the time that you had together.

  12. Pam

    I am so sorry for your loss. I’m sure her family is grieving terribly, but you have a right to grieve for her too. Good friends are so important in our lives. May she Rest in Peace.

    Take care,
    Pam

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