A few days ago, I got the terrible news that my oldest, dearest, best friend Margaret had passed away. It was actually only by chance that I found out: an email I had sent her was returned as undeliverable, so I called her to see why. Her family was so torn apart and in shock that they hadn't managed to organize themselves to begin to notify people like me.
This is the last photo I have of Margaret; it was taken on her 50th birthday, almost 2 years ago. I haven't seen her in person since my last trip to California, in 2008. I wrote about Margaret once, here.
Margaret and I have been friends since we were both 11 years old. For our whole lives, my nickname for her has been Piglet; I only started calling her by her real name a few years ago -- because, at our age, Piglet had just become too silly and childish.
Even living so far away from each other these last 14 years, we have kept in close touch by phone, email, and visits. I wouldn't dream of going to California and not making Margaret's house my very first stop.
This week, I'll make the trip back to California for her funeral. It doesn't seem possible. It can't be real, it is too sad for words...it's the last thing I expected to be doing now.
You see, Margaret's death was as a result of alcoholism. It goes without saying that I have tried everything over the years to help her overcome her addiction. If you've ever loved an alcoholic, then you also know how complex and difficult it can be.
I can't imagine what life will be like without Margaret?
I hate it that I will have to find out, now: too soon.