Monday, October 04, 2010

An Adjustment...Step 1.

It's an odd thing, being without someone. I've been getting ready for this separation for three years...and especially for the last eight months...but now it's happened, I still feel lonely and rudderless.

Sandy and I were close. Imagine something dreadful happens to you - or something amazingly wonderful. Who do you call first? I would call Gwen, Mum, and Sandy.

It was more than help in trouble: more than filling a need. It was a safe place for us both to go. It was a comfortable silence, a cosy blanket, the Food Network on and the remote within reach. Scone day: I know her tea should be milky and hot, she knows my coffee is black and strong. Her favourite Devon cream, in the little glass jar, is $4.49. $3.99 on sale, and I'd buy two and bring them over. I'm closer to the grocery store than she is. I made the lemon curd and she made the strawberry jam.

She likes it when I bring my knitting.

I like the way she says "thinger" when she can't remember the name of something. "Hand me that keychain thinger."

She likes that I recognise all her literary allusions. "I feel like Mrs. Kirk."

We understand each other.

We understood each other.

But my friend is gone.

I visited the place where we last met.
Nothing was changed, the gardens were well-tended,
The fountains sprayed their usual steady jet;
There was no sign that anything had ended
And nothing to instruct me to forget.

The thoughtless birds that shook out of the trees,
Singing an ecstasy I could not share,
Played cunning in my thoughts. Surely in these
Pleasures there could not be a pain to bear
Or any discord shake the level breeze.

It was because the place was just the same
That made your absence seem a savage force,
For under all the gentleness there came
An earthquake tremor: Fountain, birds and grass
Were shaken by my thinking of your name.

- Elizabeth Jennings


kristieinbc said...

Your post is beautiful and a tribute to the power of friendship. I hope you are able to heal through the rhythms and familiar routines of life as you move forward.

Anna said...

I lost a good friend a year and a half ago. She was only 50, and sick for only 3.5 months. She left a void that noone else can fill. There are areas of my life I can discuss with other people, but I am left only with the regret that it can not be with her.

Gwen said...

I'm so sorry, Shan.

I really like that poem thinger.

kate said...

I love your writing most like this - honest and your true voice.

One foot in front of the other.

Rona said...

I've been thinking of you so much lately. I've had such a strong urge to come and just hug you... but I haven't, not yet anyways. I don't feel that is my place nor is it time yet. I hope that you are finding comfort and peace in your memories, may you treasure them always.


mel said...

Your words, and that poem, and Kate's words "one foot in front of the other"... It's the ultimate paradox and I still can't make sense of it. I hope that this writing helps Shannon, it's beautiful. You write truth here - and I don't have adequate words to tell you how it feels to read it or how much I'm thinking of you.

Shan said...

Anna: your last line resonates with me, so much.

Mel: ultimate paradox - yes. It's so odd to be so perfectly happy for her, and relieved that she is out of the valley of the shadow, and yet want her back here with me.

lizbon said...

Oh geez. (Thinger, as in short for thingermajig, I wonder?...) Love the little details. And there's something about the little details of someone you love that become shorthand for the person underneath.

Also, separately: lemon curd. LEMON CURD. And that poem makes me think of a garden I can't go to. And that I ought to find my way back.

Dave Hingsburger said...

I once had a friend who had a bunch of 'cute-isms' for death that's she'd whip out in deeply reverential tones ... death is not an end in the road, it's a bend in the road ... or, her favourite ... death is not the extinguishing of the light, it is turning down the lamp because dawn had come ... I never knew what to do when she said these things, so I focussed simply on not slapping the shit out of her. So I offer you none of those things, I think there is a reason that there are no words to express loss, perhaps God wants us all to just shut up and be with each other so I offer you only that.

Shan said...

Dave - awesome.

I can't stand that crap.

Susie Hewer said...

Dear Shannon,

I feel your pain. 8 years ago I lost my closest friend to cancer. The gaping hole torn through my life was immense. I started running in her memory little knowing where it would lead me.

Thinking of you.


kimmers said...

Praying for you always. This loss is hard to understand.