I woke sobbing this morning, the voice of a newly dead man echoing in my head.
I always thought that becoming a woman of a certain age meant something joyful -- being no longer burdened by other peoples' judgements, and free to have adventures.
Instead it seems to mean saying goodbye. One friend has lost her mother. Another buried her father. Two friends have stood by as their mothers endured terrible complications from awful surgeries. My own mother has some health concerns. And the dead man? I don't know that I could have called him a friend, but he was kind to me when I was a child. When visiting my hometown I looked forward to running into him and catching up.
Remember being desperate to grow up? To understand the ripple of laughter that went around the room full of adults? As if being taller was the ticket to entering a special carnival full of shiny lights and amusements. Now I look around and ask: when does the fun start?
This gloom will pass. A good shamble this morning already has put me in a better mood. Still, I feel diminished by this, and so many other, deaths.
However my still-amorphous beliefs resolve themselves, I do believe I'll see again those I've lost, and become whole. Until then, a toast to those who have gone before.