My calendar notes several milestones this week — dates to remember those I have lost. Today marks 15 years since my dear friend Lynn died. She was one of the most vital people I knew, which makes her early passing doubly difficult. Lynn loved to dance, loved a party and had the gift of gab. She was fun to be with. There was rhythm in her soul. I was with her the night before she died. I knew as I said good night to her that it would likely be the last time I saw her. I could tell as I looked into her eyes that she was already leaving her body. She taught me to love life and to live in the moment and not to fear death. She lived life fully up until the moment that her body could no longer go on.
This Friday would have been my friend Heni’s 74th birthday. She didn’t make it. On April 18 her spirit left her body. She was ready to go. The last few months of her illness had taken its toll. We had been friends for close to 50 years. We met in the 70s when a few women in Park Slope started a Consciousness Raising group. Heni and I shared so many of life’s highs and lows over the years. Even after the group disbanded our bonds stayed strong. Her death leaves a huge hole in my heart.
I’ve lost most of my dearest women friends way too soon. Female best friends are so vital to a woman’s happiness. Are you ever ready to let your best friend go? Perhaps only when she is suffering too much to go on. June 8 is Best Friend’s Day. I no longer have a female Best Friend. I have female friends, but the “Best Friend” designation no longer applies. It’s a vacancy you can’t fill with a new friend. The history is just not there. So this year I will celebrate those best friends I have lost—Madeleine, Lynn and Heni—and toast their memories and the glorious days that we did have together.