learning about loss: the bottom falls out

Side Note:

I’m taking part in the Writing101 challenge, which means this is a break in what I usually post. Day 4’s challenge is to:

Write about a loss: something (or someone) that was part of your life, and isn’t any more. Today’s twist: Make today’s post the first in a three-post series.

Since I’ve already written a fiction piece about her, I thought I would stay with that topic and explore it a little further.

E and I in 2009. I miss you.

E and I in 2009. I miss you.

The Bottom Falls Out

During the Summer of 2008, l returned home for a two-week vacation, determined to see as many of my friends as I could.

E, the friend who encouraged my giant leap of faith across the country and into the great unknown, was a must-see on my list. Friends since our first year in residence and in the school of architecture, we spent many nights studying together, breaking together, and sharing a seriously unhealthy love affair with the golden arches. A purely social being, we got along because she pulled me out of my shell (sometimes by cat-call whistling at me in the school hallways) while l gave her the quiet she needed to keep being social. With the countless number of people she knew, l was honored that she called me friend.

That summer E was feeling pretty ill, and wasn’t sure if she’d be up to seeing me. Chalking it up to stress, she still made time for me, as I met up with her on my second Wednesday. My lovely friend J sacrificed the afternoon so I could see her, as I really felt like I had to.

E wasn’t well, I could tell just by looking at her. Having been married just under a year she assured me she wasn’t pregnant. We chatted for a while, but the persistent headache wouldn’t leave her alone.

I remember advising her to go back to the doctor. Suffering from migraines my entire life doctors advised me to seek help for anything longer than a week. She had a ton of work stress, so it could have been that. I thought maybe allergies, she thought maybe she needed glasses. We continued chatting for a while, but I left not long after. I can’t remember how forcefully I told her to go get help, or even how serious she took me. E was always silly, happy and fun.

I spent the rest of the week with family. Sunday, I arrived late and fell asleep before checking my phone and emails. I didn’t have a smart phone then, so I didn’t receive the flood of emails of people trying to reach me until first thing at work on Monday morning. There, at the top was an email about E from her best friend.

Thursday, the day after I saw her, E had an MRI performed. She had a two-inch brain tumor, inoperable, as its little tentacles spread out into the folds of her brain. Treatment would be discussed and we would be informed of her course later.

The bottom dropped out from under me.

I should have known based on seeing her that it was serious but we always want to believe the best. Unfortunately, it turned out to be the worst.

See part 2 here.

How about you?

Was there a time when the bottom of your world dropped out? Was it because you had to deal with the loss of a friend? Let me know your experience in a comment below, or find me on TwitterFacebook, and LinkedIn. Plus, sign up for free e-mail updates from this blog in the top right-hand corner of the page.

5 thoughts on “learning about loss: the bottom falls out

  1. The interesting thing about Life is that these sort of things tend to be around us FAR more often than we’d like to contemplate. When it’s friends (especially the close ones) or family, we put blinders on even when the blinders AREN’T on (if that makes any sense).

    I’m currently going through something that I’m sure I’ll be telling in some form down the line. It’s near and dear to my heart, so the current topic that we’re working on speaks to me in a way that is far more profound than I can fathom. Regardless, I like how you’ve handled it and I think you’ve done a nice job.


    • Thanks for your comment DJStevePinex! It’s not easy, and even with some distance, I could feel all the emotion coming back to the surface. E was a vibrant soul. I hope you are able to write about what you’re going through, and if you ever need a community of people to rally around you who know about loss, this is probably the place to find them.


      • Thanks much, Heather!
        I’ve written fictionalized accounts of similar loss. I thought that I kinda had an idea of how I might react if I had to face something like this in real life. But, given how close I am to the situation; how deep I’ve been in everything, IT DOES THE REAL DEAL NO JUSTICE.
        BTW… Steve (or Steven) is just fine. 😉


  2. Pingback: learning about loss: finding joy in sorrow | write. design. create.

  3. Pingback: The Aftershocks of Grief – write. design. create.

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