I never thought it would come to this.
Just a few months ago, we were laughing together, transforming an otherwise dull Wednesday afternoon into some magical learning session. You were the teacher and I, your student. You have taught me just about anything that a mother could teach her daughter. From trivial things such as how robins mate, to practical tips in the kitchen, to investing money wisely, you generously shared what you knew. And I’ve taken all the learning I could get and have proudly shared them with people I know.
But today was different. Although I still announced my arrival with my usual, “Anne, I’m here!” and you called out cheerfully, “Come on in, Beth!” we both knew that this day was nothing but normal. I tried my best to force a smile but my eyes were a dead giveaway. And you…while you were trying to be your cheerful self, the long pauses between your words made it obvious you were struggling.
Anne, how could you be so accepting of what’s to come? Where do you get the courage to face death so squarely?
Tell me. I want to know.
Help me understand, as you have done so in all our Wednesday afternoons together. Hold my hand as I try to chart out a new way of spending my Wednesday afternoons without you.
When I left your home today, I felt like going back and begging you to please don’t let me go. Closing the door behind me was like shutting something so precious out of my life forever. I wanted to run to your bedside and give you another hug; I wanted you to say that you would see me again next week–but you didn’t. Instead, you waved your hand at me and said, “Till we meet again.”
I am grateful for having had you in my life, no matter how short our time together. I am deeply honoured to have shared the final months of your life with you. Thank you for all the times we giggled like teenagers; for the times you were stern with me; thank you for the tenderness and patience in your voice as you tried to, in your own words, “woman me up.”
Thank you for your friendship, Anne. You were right: we were soul friends who were blessed enough to have crossed paths in this lifetime. Our friendship didn’t start here in this world; we’d known each other all along.
As we say farewell, I promise to keep the memories of our friendship in my heart forever. You have my love and prayers for a peaceful transition.
And yes, we shall meet again.
Your loving friend,