paper cranesUgh. This is the week. The week that really shouldn’t be a big deal, because when all is said and done, the date doesn’t make a difference, but it is a big deal. This is the week a year ago that Shannon died. For those who don’t know, I blogged about my experience with having a friend get diagnosed with anaplastic astrocytoma stage 3 brain cancer and her subsequent death.

It was awful, it sucked, and it impacts me nearly every day. This forum has been very therapeutic though, as has the support and love from so many friends, colleagues and family. Thank you for that.  I hope, and believe, that by sharing my experience I might help others process something so crazy, the death of someone you love.

When a friend dies, it’s odd, because I didn’t see or speak to Shannon every day. We did however, text quite a bit and facebooked often, especially in the more recent years of our friendship.  Social media, as it turns out, has been helpful in processing the “grief”. When I miss her or want to hear her “voice”, I read old facebook posts.

At first, I avoided posting on her facebook wall, not wanting to seem insane. But again, weirdly, posting on her wall is occasionally just the thing I need to move beyond a funk or through some sadness. I guess that has been the most surprising part of all of this… how grief plays itself out.

Before going through it, I always assumed you moved through the stages of grief, immediately following a death, and then that was it, you were done. Now, I know differently, and can’t imagine ever fully “moving on”, nor ever wanting to. I like thinking about her. I want to think about her. And often times, thinking about her brings a lot of joy, laughter, and peace.

So, on this year anniversary of the awful week, that followed a lot of intense months, there is only one thing I want to do. I want to tell Shannon all of the things I didn’t get to tell her during the year. And since I can’t, I hope you’ll indulge me one more time.

Here goes:

  • Kim Kardashian named her baby North;
  • I was elected to the Board of Ed AND was a guest on WNPR!;
  • Your maid of honor speech was amaze balls;
  • Wendy Davis held an 11 hour filibuster to block a crazy TX anti-choice law;
  • Oprah’s OWN network has a Lindsay Lohan reality show;
  • I have to constantly tell Don to “get your hands out of your pants”;
  • They actually have a place where you get to jump with your kids in bounce houses while they play old school Disney songs;
  • Evan was at the finish line of the Boston Marathon;
  • I now work at CONNSACS;
  • Whitney got her dog and she’s perfect!;
  • We had ‘thundersnow’ this winter;
  • Muzin & Trav are engaged!;
  • I miss you.

Ah, that felt good.

Sometimes it just hurts. Other times it seems so unreal. There’s so much she missed and yet it feels like she was right there the whole time. I am looking forward to gathering with friends and family this weekend to celebrate her life and all that she gave us.

Thank you for listening. To those struggling with the loss of a loved one, I’m sorry and I send you nothing by love and strength.

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