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Monday, December 31, 2012

on love, loss and being a million stupid miles away

I don’t know how to write about what I’m about to write about, but I also know I can’t write about anything else until I do.

So.

Let me tell you about Kellie.  She was the best of the best.  One of my dearest.  The kindest soul, the most loving heart.  She was nothing but my very favorite adjectives.  Kind, thoughtful, generous, beautiful, smart, funny, amazing, Kellie.  She was a world traveler, a doctor, she was a rock star and, as fate would have it, she was dating a rock star.  Literally.  But.  She also had cancer.  Four-and-half years ago she was diagnosed with breast cancer.  These two words were heartbreaking.  To us, to her, to everything she had worked so hard to get.  She vowed to beat it and on those days when she didn’t feel like it, we reminded her she could.  And she did.  She beat the bananas out of it. 

And then I moved out of the country. 

Shortly thereafter it came back.  The cancer.  In all the wrong places -- as if there are any right places.  It was devastating.  To us, to her, to everything she had worked so hard to get back.  And to me.  Because I was now so far away, I couldn’t participate in the day to day.  I couldn’t rub her feet.  I couldn’t bring her dinner.  I couldn’t physically be there for her as I had before.  Many others thankfully were.

The second diagnosis was a terrible blow, but she found the courage and strength to face it.  She was determined to beat this life interrupter one more time.  And on those days when she didn’t feel like it, we reminded her -- me through email, texts and Skype -- that she did it before and she could do it again.  She would do it again.  And for a while, she was.  She was beating the bananas out of it. The lung cancer disappeared.  The brain cancer was getting smaller.  The clinical trial was a miracle.  She was a miracle.  She saw God. 

And then.  A month or so ago.  I don’t know why.  It all stopped working.  The clinical trial.  The miracle.  I prayed to God.  He felt very far away.  I felt further.

Kellie died on December 14th.   She was hardly forty.  She was the best of the best.  One of my dearest.  I will mourn her forever and celebrate her always.  She was nothing but my very favorite adjectives, and she always will be.  

And it is because of Kellie that I will be moving back to the country one day.  There was a moment, the day of the Newtown shootings, that I thought I wouldn't.  That I couldn't.  Hours later, on the same horrible day, I learned about my sweet friend and I knew I definitely would.

I don't know what it's like to lose a close friend when you're right next to them.  But I do know it's profoundly and unbearably painful to lose one when you're not.  The inevitability of life is death, and I want to be there for it all.  

The last text Kellie sent me was a week before her death.  “Hi, beautiful girl!!!!!!”  Three words, six exclams, all love.  That was Kellie.  

So.  

I miss you, beautiful girl!!!!!!

I so very much do.  


One of our many birthdays we were so lucky to celebrate together.
Kel is the beautiful smile in the upper right corner.

12 comments:

  1. Your reality is my fear as I am going through something similar with my best of the best friends, my prayers and love for you all.

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    1. Thank you, Deanna. So sorry you have to go through the same horrible sadness w Stephanie. Prayers and love back at you.

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  2. I felt your love for Kellie and your pain when your tears whispered, "I can't talk about it." I felt your love and pain in your silence. I felt your love and pain that beautiful morning on an Australian cliff overlooking a roaring surf as you shared Kellie, her words and her song with three tenderhearted women who love you, and later as we watched six pink long-stemmed roses fight their way out to sea. I love how you love. xo

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    1. Moms always know the right thing to say. xx

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  3. Tiffany, I am so so terribly sorry for your loss. I remember Kellie and she was lovely and cute and sweet and there was just nothing but good to say about her. I know how deeply you love people and how much you appreciate them. Your friendship is one that always makes those in your life feel loved, acknowledged and special. When we love that much and so selflessly, sometimes the pain can be that much greater. I wish there was something one could say or do to make you feel better but of course I can't think of a thing. I do know I am very glad you wrote this beautiful piece as it's a fitting and lovely tribute to a beautiful woman. And it's moments like these I am 100 percent on board for you to move back someday but I am also so glad to read Nancy MacMillan's post and know that you have friends there that love and cherish you and stand by you when you go through the big stuff. Much love to you. I miss you so very much!

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  4. My dear friend, I am so sorry to hear this news. I can feel how much you love her and it breaks my heart. I am loving you from afar - as I have been for these past years. hugs and kisses from me.

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  5. Hi Tiffany. I have just read about your love and loss of your dear friend. When something so big happens words normally fail us but you have expressed the love and pain involved in the journey so well. My mum fought a similar battle ( breast cancer followed by lung cancer) which she too lost half my lifetime ago. However, there are few days when I don't think about her and miss her. The time travelled means that the pain has mostly gone and there is mostly joy in the memories - they say that death is a journey. I also read your mum's wise and loving words - what an amazing woman. It is evident also that your friend had such loving and caring friends and that she was truly loved. Thinking of you and we should really do that coffee! Christine xx

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    1. Thank you, Christine. So sorry about your mom. I bet she was lovely just like you. And tall! Just a guess. Coffee please. x

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  6. Tiffany, I know this was not easy to write but it is so beautiful. Miss you so much!

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    1. My sweet funeral crasher. Thank you always. I miss you more! x

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