So, I Lost My Best Friend.

I’ve written about my darling best friend, Meg, before. There was the time I sent her a new cross necklace, and when we innovated our long-distance hangouts in 2020 to include online games and a drive-by visit. We went to my church’s women retreat together and it was very difficult leaving her in New Jersey to move here but she wanted to move to Tennessee anyway so we figured that our reunion would happen within a few years. We talked nearly every day and even though she was self-described “not a phone person”, we would often be on the phone for hours after I moved.

best friend megMe and Meg at my going away party!

The entire time I knew Meg, she was on and off of chemotherapy for treatment of her Ewing Sarcoma. In 2021, it spread to her brain and she had two surgeries to remove tumors that just would not quit. After an ominous text from her in October, I decided to go home and spend time with her. We had a bonfire birthday party for me at my mom’s house and then had an amazing time drinking and doing karaoke at our friend’s house the next night.

The gang hanging out at my birthday party in October 2021

On Thanksgiving Day, she didn’t text me back. Then she didn’t answer my follow-up text a few hours later. A friend of hers informed us shortly thereafter that she’d had a seizure in the morning and was in the hospital. That began the quick decline of communication and cognitive function. My last text from her was on November 29th when it almost seemed like things she would be getting better. It was jumbled but she acknowledged that and said, “Sense is overrated.” That was the last text my best friend ever sent me and you know what, I love that text. Sense IS overrated.

best friendsNJ Renaissance Faire

I had the opportunity to speak to her on the phone while she was still speaking short sentences sporadically. It will always make me laugh that the first sentence when her mom answered the phone calling me “Tiff” was, “She doesn’t like to be called Tiff!” Being an awesome and funny friend even in that situation is just like her. I will be grateful forever for the three times she told me she loved me during that phone call and that the last thing she ever said to me was, “I love you too.”

She went on hospice at home for exactly a month. In that time, the gang called her and visited her to keep her company as much as possible. I hated that I couldn’t be there but I asked about her every day and talked to her as much I could. I couldn’t stop myself from texting her because it was part of our routine, but it got harder and harder every day that she didn’t answer and I couldn’t hear her voice. Then, I got the call in early January that she had gone to be with God.


God’s Plan

I’m not angry. I know that people often feel anger as part of their grief but I truly don’t. Meg has always been a Christian and I think she would feel the way that I feel. God has a plan and while it’s frustrating not to see His end of it, I know that Meg is out of pain and there is a purpose much greater than I can visualize. Though I do enjoy imagining Meg doing the check-ins at the pearly gates with the clipboard in her hand and a harp under her arm.

Did I wish she had more time on this earth? Yes, but I feel like those are worldly desires and also, maybe selfish ones. I wanted to take her hiking and geocaching here. I wanted to see how she would experience the homestead lifestyle. I wanted to see her get married and whether or not she would decide to have children. She is in the best place possible now, what are these but small experiences in the grand scheme of things?

I am sad though, of course. I am sad for us, for everyone who loved Meg and has to cope with not having her here with us anymore. The world feels quite literally a little darker without her in it and if you knew what a light she was, you would understand why that’s not just a cliché.


Carrying On

I let myself dwell in my grief for a little while. Feeling hopeless, feeling depressed. But I think it’s so important not to let the feelings fester and take over everything. Meg would want me to enjoy things in her honor, not avoid them because I miss her. I promised her that I would never let this all be for naught as far as my own life purposes. I would continue to try to carry that spark for Jesus that she held up so well. I will take and apply lessons from this. I won’t let a bucket list sit on a shelf. I bought a karaoke machine specifically because of Meg and the joy that night brought her. She rocked it, you know.

My brain has gone in and out of reality a lot, where there are moments that I seem to think she’s been so busy and I should call her. Then it hits. It’s like reliving that pain. This weekend, I am headed to New Jersey for Meg’s memorial service. It’s going to be all too real surrounded by her people without her. I don’t know how I’ll handle it but I know that I am determined to live with joy for her. I will be intentional about my experiences with people and spreading love. I love you, Meg.

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