my friend’s cancer has been determined untreatable and she is now in hospice. although i have lost several people over the years, this is the first time i have experienced anyone who has gone through the hell of chemo and radiation with no positive results, who now is saying goodbye to family and friends. i can’t imagine what’s she’s going through, seeing friends and family visiting from out of town, possibly the last time.
yesterday she told me that she had heard I got a job offer in Boston and will be moving there. it’s partially true. i have the job offer. but i’m finding it difficult to convince myself that i would want to live there. but she persisted and asked when i would be moving, and i said i was not ready to go, and she said she was not ready to go either. but that i would be going somewhere life affirming while she was going into the unknown.
and then she cried and said she would miss me. and i said, i’m right here now and not going anywhere. and she apologized for saying or doing things that may have hurt me. and i told her that this had never happened. and that it i was who was sometimes grumpy and stubborn when we worked on projects together. and she said that, no, i was always open and compassionate. and i said, no, she was the one who was compassionate. and this went back and forth a few times, until we both gave up.
the only thing i do know is that i am going to stay at least as long as she does. i can’t bear the thought of leaving this friend. even though in 25 years prior, we were more collaborators than friends. and collaboration wasn’t always easy. but now, none of that matters.