Year 2 of Living without a Loved One

The 2nd year anniversary of Jen’s death came and went. I took the day off work and tuned out of everything I could. Of course, I had responsibilities but everyone was very kind. It was easier this year, it still makes me sad though. I still miss my friend. I try to abide by the lessons she taught me, but the world keeps turning. I too must grow and change with it or I will be left behind in my grief.

I feel like I owe it to her to remember her, especially the way she was before she got so sick. I would hope she would do the same for me if I was the one who left the stage before my time. So, I think I will share a memory, something we did together often.

It was the 2nd year after we moved to Kentucky, dead of winter. The car wasn’t working, I had just walked home from work and I was frozen to the bone. It was a hard time, especially for her. All she could keep down was this awful cream of chicken canned soup. I don’t know how she managed to choke the stuff down, other than she must have been so hungry. Her day, at the time, was sitting in her grandmothers rocking chair that we inherited and watching TV / playing on her computer. Still, it was at the beginning of the failure of the Kentucky / Lexington medical industry to help her. I sat with her and would watch whatever she had on the TV, I got to be somewhere else all day so it seemed the least I could do.

So there I was, watching Gossip Girl with Jen and starting to get into it. We would talk about the plot, talk about what might happen, try to guess plot points, tease each other when we got it wrong and make jokes about how it was trash TV. After a day spent alone, tired, and feeling awful I would like to think these moments gave her some small bits of happiness. I know she felt like a burden and felt pitiful and pathetic. For all of my own / ongoing struggles with depression hers was far, far more intense.

On most nights she was so tired, any reaction was progress. There were a few moments, where I was privileged to see her smile as we talked and joked about what awful TV it was and about how I myself was getting into it. She threw shade but that tiny occasional smile was far more of a thank you than her words could ever, ever have been.

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