Gentle readers,
Yesterday was the memorial service for my friend Ivy. I've be trying to figure out what to write since she did died and I think if I don't do it now, I never will. So, here goes.

Ivy died a month ago. She went in to the hospital to find out why her chest hurt and her cold wasn't going away. First they thought it was a broken rib, then a collapsed lung, then pneumonia and finally cancer. Cancer in her lungs, liver and lymphatic system. Extremely aggressive cancer. Cancer that she probably only had for two months. Cancer that killed her by the end of the second week by filling up her lungs.

We waited for news as those weeks progressed watching as things got steadily worse, until there was no doubt about the outcome, just shock at the speed.

We were close by that weekend hoping to give her an award for her art but by then the prognosis had gone from maybe getting to be at home to hours to live.

Late that afternoon, we got a call saying she was asking for Cortejo and I. And so we went.

She looked well. Not like someone who was dying, aside from the various tubes and wires and monitors that pop culture uses to tell us that things are very serious. Her eyes were bright and sharp, her colour was good.

Then I noticed saw how much trouble she was having breathing and the slightly frightened look in her eyes masked by the morphine. We sat with her for a bit and made small talk. We told her about her award and she complimented my boots and garb snarked and ogled Cortejo. It's hard to talk to someone who is literally at death's door.

We were in and out of her room as the evening progressed with her needing space or rest until we were called in with a "This is it."

It wasn't it. She was ready but her body was not. Being with someone who is going to die, who has made peace with that and is ready to die and who's body won't give up is one of the most heart breaking things that I've ever had to experience.

We ended up saying our good-byes and heading out when it was clear that nothing was happening any time soon and we were just stressing people out. She died in the wee hours of the morning.

I'm glad we got to say good bye. I'm glad that she got to say her good-byes. I'm glad she didn't have to linger in pain and cause anyone to resent her sickness.

Yesterday was the memorial. Lots of people who had good things to say about how they remembered her and what she meant.

I'm glad I knew her and I feel like a steady presence has been taken from the world. I still don't quite know what it is that makes me feel so sad about this but I do know I'm not done being sad yet.

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j_v_lynch

May 2016

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