Fortunately, Chris' voice was at the other end. I was relieved, thrilled even. I had driven around after work, running errands, in sort of a funk. I felt lonely. I am not discussing the things that are bothering me with my friends, I am not airing them out here. When I am not focused on the task at hand, whether its parenting or working, I am sort of lost in this fog. I want to reach out, but in many respects, I am alone in what I am going through. For a variety of reasons, I have to be. But I have never felt so isolated. When I heard her voice, I felt my shoulders slump. This woman has been my friend for 22 years. I can talk to her.
Sadly, she wasn't calling with randomly. It was news, and very sad news... a friend of ours from high school had passed away last night. She is a year or so older than me, so she was 39 or 40. She died of cirrhosis of the liver. She leaves behind a son, friends and family, and a lifetime of sadness that she tried for years to release. I guess we all have problems. It sounds like those around her in the end didn't do much to save her. Maybe we can't be saved from our own self-destruction, but I guess you would hope for more. At least Chris was hoping for that. She had the opportunity to say goodbye a day or so ago and wasn't happy at the state of things. But she at least got to say goodbye. I envy her in a way. Usually, my friendships end as I move away or move on or get busy. This woman was one of the two or three people in my life that I actually had a falling out with. It was sort of weird, but even though we had this one mutual friend (probably best friend to each of this), neither of us took steps to mend fences once we broke. I am just sort of left with this weird ache and a deep sadness at her passing. She was my friend, someone slept over, who I partied with, shopped with, did all those things you do with your friends when you are young. 40 is too young to die. It really is, especially when you have a young child.
After we talked about our friend, Chris asked how we were doing. I told her about what's being going on. She is the same friend that she has been for 22 years, unfailingly supportive. As lost as I felt earlier, I am glad she found me at home today and I was able to talk to her. Even though she is three thousand miles away, Chris reminded me that I am really not alone.