My Irreplaceable Friend.
by Jenny King
Last year, at the end of March 2012, my dearest friend died. I was at the airport waiting to board when a text came through from her husband. We all knew the end was near, but even so, the shock of those few words; 'Sarah has gone', left me numb. Maybe it was just as well as I had to get through the flight, then hire a car the other end, then drive for two hours (Andalucía, Spain)to the tiny mountain village where she had lived for her last years.
We bade a final goodbye at her funeral a few days later. I shall not try to compare my grief with that of her devastated husband and three children; it would be meaningless to do so, but I will say that a year later, I still feel an aching loss inside. We were extremely close, our bond forged many many years before when we were students at college. We lived our lives in parallel and shared our joys and pains. We trusted each other and loved and respected each other equally. She was the one person who I knew would always be on my side. Oh how I miss that! Right or wrong, she was my champion, my loyal, loving and now irreplaceable friend.
Three days after her funeral, a small group of us scattered some of her ashes by the sea. As we did so a remarkable thing happened. There was no wind, and as I took a handful, I flung them high and wide without meaning to. It was as if an energy took my arm and did it for me. To my amazement, the ashes seemed to hover above the water and took shape and the shspe seemed to dance. It brought us all to smiles and with joyous cries we all began to do it.
It is a memory that always makes me smile. Sarah danced her last dance before she slipped away with the waves. Beautiful.
I once promised her that I would always watch over her children. I am fulfilling that vow which is my memorial to a truly wonderful, funny, brave and courageous woman. As for getting over it......well, I don't expect I will. This was a big one. I always knew it would be. But since she would never have wanted me to suffer, I work hard to be positive and to make some sunshine. After all, she loved the sun and instinctively drew towards it when she was told she would not, as she put it, 'make old bones'.
My brave friend Sarah. I miss you.