I was blessed growing up with 3 best friends, Tracey, Doreen (we were all the same age) and Debbie (sister to Tracey, one year younger than us)….you know the kind of friends that make each other laugh so hard you pee your pants….LITERALLY….it has been a while since we have made each other pee our pants, but the friendship of all of us has withstood the test of time.  We have worked through drag down, knock ’em out fights and come out stronger on the other end.

Girlfriends are so vital for me….I don’t understand the hate that women and girls perpetuate toward each other.  We complain about the way men treat us, but I believe we are often our own worst enemies….oopps, slightly off-track there…that’s a whole other post…lol!!

Back to my story…..

We didn’t hand-pick each other in the beginning, as our mother’s were all friends when we were born….

We have remained the closest of friends throughout the entirety of our lives….by choice.  We are different and we were never clicky…..we all had other friends, but we all cherish, honor and are faithful to our friendship.  We have so many memories….a lot of good, some bad.  We have seen each other through various ups and downs.  We are like family…the 3 of our families spent every Christmas Eve together, but somehow these ladies are even better than family…sweeter somehow…I guess because we choose each other, close as family, but because we choose it, not out of “family obligation.”  We were at every birthday party, spent countless nights having sleepovers and as I said Christmas Eve was a Holiday we shared…..

In march of 2004, we lost one of our dear loves to a drowning.  Debbie rescued her son, but lost the fight for her own life in a very tragic incident.







She is missed.

What makes me the most sad….and there are many things, but the most prominent in my mind…the thing that makes my heart hurt the most is that her son,  he was so young at the time of her passing, will never TRULY know her; her love for him.  Yes, he is told stories, but it isn’t the same.

There is a song out now….every time I hear it, I think of Debbie and my heart aches that she is gone…..

I miss picking up the phone and calling her with the ins and outs of our days. My heart aches when I talk with Tracey and their mom Kathy for their loss is so deep.

Her passing is shadowed in tragedy and it is easy to be consumed in anger by the callousness of the one person who was the catalyst in her death.  It is often easier for many people to bury the name and memory of loved ones passed with them at their funeral….I admit, I am not good at this.

Am I sad she is gone…..tremendously.

Am I sad when I think of all of things she will never experience…absolutley.

However…I like to remember her….her spirit…her wonderful qualities, her quirks, the things that bugged me….I don’t want to bury the 33 years that Debbie blessed my life with her friendship.  I want to talk about her…remind people of her, not her death….her.  

I keep her alive this way.

Do you know someone who has recently lost a loved one?

Are you struggling in awkward silence searching for “THE RIGHT”  thing to say?

My advice is this…and I could be wrong, but nevertheless….

Offer a hug.

Share a memory.

Share how you felt for the person.

Ask how they are….and then wait and LISTEN to their response.

Acknowledge their hurt and validate it.

Listen to their memories and share your own.

The only thing more tragic than the death itself, is to erase the memory and mention of the person altogether.

I don’t think  a parent “heals” after the loss of a child, but I do believe the fond sharing of memories shines light into the dark vastness of the hurt.  Perhaps the more light (more memories that are shared) that penetrates into the hurt is the path….maybe not to healing….maybe it simply leads to a new normal…a new and different way of encompassing the lost love into your life.

                                            The Memory Of Me

                                      I’d like the memory of me

                                           to be a happy one.

                                    I’d Like to leave an afterglow

                                   of smiles when the day is done.

                                        I’d like to leave an echo

                                  whispering softly down the ways.

                                    Of happy and laughing times

                                     and bright and sunny days.

                                  I’d like the tears of those who

                                    grieve to dry before the sun;

                                  Of happy memories that I leave

                                    behind when the day is done.

Miss you Deb!!

Cherish your loved ones for they are the sweet morsels of your life!  

Make time for your friends…life isn’t life without them!