A few hours ago, I was told a friend, a very dear friend, was dead.
My heart is broken. I am struggling to breathe. Almost as much as I struggle to make sense of what I was told.
Please bear with me as I write through my tears and my grief. I will write because this is what I do. And, because my friend, Gloria, never missed a post (for those of you who follow closely, you would recognize her name; she commented often). This is for her. About her. In honor of her.
My friend, I truly do not know where to begin. Perhaps I should start at the end, right here, this place they just told me is the place I must now live in, without my friend in it.
Okay, I will need your help, because I do not know how to move past this terrible moment right here; this place that will forever mark the start of a brand new normal I must live.
When we met a few years ago in Professor Cuteness’ class, my academic soul sang. It was refreshing to sit in a classroom with a contemporary; someone with whom I could relate to and learn from. Lord have mercy… we became such fast friends!
Since then, we have been on a path together. A path that demanded we supported each other through the ups, downs, papers, finals, midterms and asshole professors. The path that meant we celebrated important moments together, cried, laughed and scolded. We pushed each other when we each knew the other was capable of better. Of more. We talked about our daughters, our loves, our dreams, our graduation and our Scorpio sisterhood (your birthday is Sunday and I just do not know what to do!). We shopped, drank and ate. You complained that I only took you to “skinny-ass” stores; but then rejoiced because you said you got to keep your money in your pocket. You were my biggest fan… read all my posts. You called me a “Rockstar” and told me how proud of me you were. How brave you thought I was. How you wanted to be just like me when you grew up (which was always funny to us as you were older than me!).
My heart is broken.
I cannot believe you are gone. You still had plans. Dreams. You had loves to meet. We weren’t finished talking.
My friend, my heart is broken.
This right here is a lot for me to handle. We were supposed to do this academic walk together. We were supposed to cross that stage together.
I cannot breathe.
Gloria, I miss you… already. Thank you for happening to me. Thank you for accepting all the sides, angles, corners and edges of me. Your beautiful spirit will be missed in this world. Please know, wherever you are right now, please know that I love you. Our friendship, our sisterhood strengthened me and helped to give me the courage I need on this academic journey. Your sense of humor, your humility, your kindness and graciousness made you one of the most beautiful human beings I have met and, my heart will miss yours.
Please continue to believe in me and prop me up; because my friend, God willing, I now continue this journey without you; but for you. I will finish this for you, my friend; and, we will cross that stage together… because you will be in my heart.
I love you BIG. Please soar.