How do I type this....here I sit, fingers poised and I don't know where to start. Some people are lucky enough to have a once-in-a-lifetime friend who touches your soul and shares all your deep, dark secrets, who loves you no matter what. My best friend, my confidante, my partner in crime, the girl who I grew up with from the age of 12 and has been my constant companion....so much so that some people have said "you 2 are joined at the hip!", is such a person in my life. She has been a part of my extended family's life for 37 years and they have all been touched by her joy for life, her gregarious spirit and her passion for her family and her friends.
So here I sit, Sunday morning, knowing that tomorrow morning her life support machine is going to be turned off and that will be it....no more coffee pop-ins, no more sharing our hopes and fears and just plain silliness.
Joan was the person that my Dad gave his trip to when he was too unwell to go, just a short 6 months ago. He was so pleased that he could do it as he absolutely knew how much she would enjoy it and he felt she really deserved a wonderful holiday with myself, my husband, my Mum and my Auntie and Uncle. Dad would call her "Just Joan" or "Joanie", she was his 2nd daughter.
Three and a half years ago she beat breast cancer. Two mornings ago (Friday 28th Nov), she suffered a heart attack and consequently a stroke starved her brain of oxygen for 20 minutes. Her wonderful husband found her and he and their 17 year old son performed CPR until the ambulance arrived. The Doctor said "catastrophic brain damage" yesterday when we went in for a meeting with them.
So she'll forever be 49 years old and we are all totally shell-shocked and devastated to be losing such a huge part of our lives. Her husband and children will need to be so very strong to get through this. I feel like I have lost a huge part of me and I grieve for what will never be, us growing old and crotchety together.
At least I can be of some practical help for Michael with the funeral arrangements, having done it only 2 months ago for my Dad. Life's such a bitch sometimes and it makes you wonder at the fairness of it all. A stupid Aussie quote keeps popping into my head from years ago, think it was Austentayshus (sp?) that said it....."how much can a Koala Bear?". Not too much more I can tell you.
Of course, you go on, for family and friends and to help keep the memory of a true soul friend alive. I sit here again for minutes, wondering if I should push "publish post", but I just can't pretend that all that happens in my private world does not affect everything I do here. Celebrate your friendships, things can change in an instant, love, friendship and companionship with others around you is everything.
Love you Joan, forever and ever.