Writing is therapy... I still remember...

It's funny how six years ago on this day -- Friday September 30 -- I can recall without fail exactly what happened. I'll save you the details, and give you the Cole's notes version.

I dropped my youngest off at preschool, and went to visit my BFF who was ill in the hospital. She and I had been friends for the better part of twenty-five years. I can still hear the rasp in her voice when she struggled to say hi, and can still remember her less than stellar colouring - she looked and sounded very sick. We visited for a bit and when I left, I told her how much I loved her and that I'll see her tomorrow.

As I left and stood at the entrance to the Grey Nuns Hospital, a horrible feeling settled over me that I could not shake. I prayed for my friend. I prayed for her family. I prayed for healing, although it felt like a tall request.

I picked up my youngest, and prayed some more. That feeling--that one like something isn't right in the universe--refused to leave. It was only later, I discovered (via FB, no less which I won't get into because that opens a whole other can of worms) that she had died not long after I left. There would be no tomorrow.

My best friend had died.

I still remember how we went out for dinner that night with my in-laws, as I didn't want to cancel or be the reason for canceling and have to explain to them how my world has unexpectedly shattered. She was gone and there was no warning, no lead up, nothing.


Did you know you can actually run out of tears? I found out that weekend. And the heartbreak... I hope none of you readers ever have to experience that.

She was my best friend. I didn't hang out with her husband, and rarely with her kids, it was always just us. Once a month, we'd have supper together, and commiserate and/or cheer the other on, like BFF do. We had always joked we'd be old bitties sitting in our rocking chair, yelling at kids to get off our lawn. But that changed. Everything changed that day. The one person who knew everything about me (good, bad and in between) was gone. I cried constantly, without warning or reason, and did for a few years.

It wasn't until I finally saw a therapist, after another nearly-as-upsetting event occurred, when she strongly suggested that I'd never dealt with Wendy's death. Crying everyday wasn't dealing with it. People saying "well at least you got to tell her you loved her" didn't help. I know in my heart they meant well, but it still stung. Burying my best friend on my birthday probably didn't help either. 

My therapist suggested I write about it. In all the detail I could handle.
My beautiful bestie Wendy
My beautiful bestie Wendy
So that's what I did. I channeled her essence into one of my favourite characters, and wrote and wrote, pouring out my heart and soul. And something amazing happened. The tears that came daily, stopped showing up. My heart felt a little lighter, and I could recall things without the need of nearby tissues. The writing had helped.

And when people who know me read that character, I think they knew. She was an amazing being - so bubbly, and her star shone so brightly, it's a crime she's not here anymore. There was just something about her that made others smile and feel comfortable in her presence, for I was not her only best friend. She had many.

So if you're in a funk, I suggest you write about whatever is bugging you. Of course, you don't have to turn it into a character and write a book (something my therapist was a little surprised I did.) But writing is therapy. It's healing. And it allows you to pour out all your fears, frustrations and moments into a safe place. My only regret is that I had done it sooner, but then, maybe that's just how it was supposed to be.

Thanks for reading.

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