my best friend from high school (M), someone i’ve known over half of my life, lost her mother (D) today. it’s been an uphill battle for her health for years, but even knowing that it was on the horizon doesn’t make it any easier.

i’ve watched her decline from an active woman to a wheelchair-bound multiple amputee, and it’s been heartbreaking from my outside perspective. i can’t imagine how M has been feeling throughout this all.

things haven’t been great for D for several years. bone infections chipped away at her limbs. the last time i saw her was sometime last year, i think, helping transport her from dialysis to an appointment, then home. she and her husband had stopped sleeping in their bedroom. a hospital bed was installed in their family room, and he slept in his recliner so they could still be near each other.

i think back to high school. M and i went to prom together, along with another friend (C). instead of a fancy dinner out, we had a nice dinner at M’s house. prom itself was meh, but i hold that dinner in my heart.

i visited M just before Christmas, and we baked cookies. it was a long and exhausting day, but i’m glad we had it. D was still in the hospital. she’d been in for weeks, trying to stabilize all the different numbers. things were looking up, she was going to be headed to rehab, then finally home.

then things started not looking up. D’s numbers wouldn’t stabilize, or the rehab facility couldn’t do the dialysis. last week, M let me know that her mom had stopped eating, and the facility wanted to put in a feeding tube. D was confused and disoriented because of starvation, but was convinced to agree to the procedure. after a day, she was more coherent, and things started looking up again.

last night, i got a text from M. she was facing the painful truth. her mother was dying. she’d seen the signs, but was putting on a brave face with a side of denial. i probably would’ve done the same thing in her position. heck, i did do the same thing. at the back of my mind, i knew time was short, but i kept up the charade to help M cope. but it was undeniable now. D had coded, and the outlook was grim. she wasn’t expected to make it through today.

this morning, before i had a chance to see the text from M, i got a call from her. she was on her way in to the city, and wasn’t sure she’d be to the hospital before D passed. she was in hysterics, and not fully thinking. she called me before most of her other family. i asked if she needed me there. she said no, not yet.

we carved some things into a candle and lit it for D, with a thank you to Hades.

a couple hours later, she called again, more composed, and let me know how the rest of the family was taking it. her brother is flying in tonight. he’d wanted to be able to say goodbye before she passed. he won’t, and for that i’m sorry.

i’ve sat with my teddy bear all day, crying off and on for M and her family. i know she’ll be well taken care of, because my mom is the funeral director handling everything.

i don’t really know how to cap this off. there isn’t a resolution yet. i haven’t had a chance to see M yet (she’s spent literally the entire day either trying to get into the city or at the hospital). i know i’ll talk with her tomorrow, and she’ll catch me up.