Well, the grieving for my friend has taken a weird shape. It's not like the grieving I am used to. Instead of loud and overwhelming, it is quiet and slow. It hits me in small doses and usually brings a tear to my eye but not down my cheek. Today, finally, the dam was broken and I actually cried.
During the last few weeks of Susy's life, I created a private blog for her friends and family. It turned out to be a great way for people to learn about the latest developments in Susy's life and her sad death. It also became a place of community. People who know and love Susy can leave comments and many of them have written me directly with thoughts, feelings and introductions.
It is not a new idea for me that death brings us a gift of a 360 degree view. Through all of the emails from people in her life, most of which I don't know, I learn more about Susy every day. Truthfully I think I have learned more about her in this last week than I would have if she had lived 5 more years and we continued being friends. There's just a different perspective that comes with learning about someone you know through other people--a 360 degree view. A part of my finds this sad and another part just finds it fascinating.
Be it sad or not, I have been overwhelmed (in a good way) by the number of emails in my inbox. People who I never would have known, from all over the country, have become my friends. This makes me happy but it also makes me yearn for Susy.
I want to call her up and tell her about her friend in Georgia who wrote me. As I learn more about her life, I want to ask her more about her life. I didn't know she graduated college with all of those honors. I didn't know she had sooo many people in her life who had CF and transplants. How did she get to know all of those people? She had done more and knew more than I ever realized.
I knew aspects of Susy but not the full picture. As the view becomes more clear and well-rounded, all I want to do is pull up a chair and talk to her about all the things I now know. I had more things to learn from her than I realized. If only I could go back and ask all the right questions and listen, listen, listen.
Tonight, I am still mourning (in my own weird, slow way) the loss of a bright light. Susy was many things to many people and I am just discovering how far reaching her impact really is.
Tonight, I am mourning lost opportunities. There is so much I'd like to talk with her about but my chance is gone. She left before I even knew what to ask.
I have made a note to myself: Ask more questions. Try to get a more well-rounded view of everyone close to me while they are still here to answer the questions I want to know.