Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Missing Laura

A year ago, I awakened early to find a message in my inbox telling me that my good friend Laura had died the previous evening.  She was just 50 years old so her sudden passing was completely unexpected.

I remember reading the message over several times, trying to make sense of it.

Laura dead? It wasn’t possible that her warm, bright spirit could be gone so suddenly and so completely. She’d commented on a photo of a cherry tree I'd posted on Facebook only the day before. I’d sent her a message shortly before I'd gone to sleep, for goodness sake! 

But she was gone. And, when the reality of that awful fact finally sank in, I cried for days. She was a wonderful friend - one who listened patiently, offered sensible advice and encouragement, challenged my assumptions and inspired me to be more appreciative of others’ perspectives. In short, she was the sort of friend one rarely has the good fortune to meet. I knew my life would be a great deal poorer without her kindness, wisdom, humour, intelligence, warmth and compassion. 

A year later, I still think of her every day. Her smile beams at me from a photograph on my desktop. On most days, I walk to work past the cherry tree she admired the morning before she died and I think about her and her family – particularly, her brother and teenaged son. I miss her contributions - often humourous, occasionally fierce, always thoughtful and full of insight - to discussions amongst our Facebook friends. More than anything, I wish I could chat with her once more so I could tell her how much I loved and admired her and how hard I'm trying to be the person she thought I was.

If the pain of loss is a measure of one’s love, then it seems I (and many others) loved Laura more than words can express.

Rest in peace, dear friend. We'll carry you in our hearts and minds forever. 

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