Addendum: Love letter to a dying friend

Sadness. My best friend from graduate school was diagnosed with a rare variant of leukemia more than three years ago. She fought hard, was placed on palliative care in the last several months.

When I got home from work Saturday morning my husband  told me to call her. He’d received a call during the prior night, it might be too late. I called, she told me it was our last chance to talk. I don’t know if she was planning or not, if she knew or not. We were both raised Catholic – Irish Catholic. But we were both Classicists, too.

She wanted me to say something, to tell her something, to give her something I didn’t have to give her. She wanted me to tell her a story, to play a part that wasn’t mine. Absolution, apology, a passion play.

I could hear the oxygen running, I could hear the Morphine in her voice.  I could hear the little girl she once was and always had had in her heart. I wish I could’ve held her hand again. I don’t have much to give a dying woman, I’m not sure who does. But I wish I could’ve given her that. I would’ve given her anything mine to give.

But there is no way to cross countries in seconds, there is no way to rewind clocks. There is no way to redo bone marrow transplants that don’t work, change who we are, where we we’ve been and what we have & haven’t learned.

There is only now, the oxygen, the morphine and my love for her. My love for her is every now, every then, daughter to the Big Love. It contains my sadness and my grief, her need. It contains the answer. I just can’t find it right now.

I love you, Danielle. Whenever you are.

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