While I generally don’t like to report bad news, I still need to be able to express what’s happening with me so that I can get it out of my head. The past two weeks will probably rank high on my “toughest things I’ve had to deal with in life” list. Losing someone is always a shock, especially when its completely unexpected no matter how it happens. I lost a friend recently, not to an accident or something tragic, but due to natural causes. Because I want to respect her family’s privacy, I won’t go into detail about her medical history.
I met her when I moved here last year; I went to a Meetup.com event for women in Atlanta at a bar somewhere in Midtown where there was going to be a live band playing. She and I started chatting, you know that usual-where are you from, what do you do, how long have you lived here stuff. We exchanged numbers and have been in touch ever since. She was originally from Queens, New York and had relocated to Atlanta about 7 years ago-completely by herself. She had friends that moved from NY to ATL, but they all ended up moving back and she decided to stay. She was single and dating, had a good job and was looking for better employment. She would always send me job openings that she found that she thought I would be a good fit for. I used to make time to have lunch with her, visit her at her house, we bought each other Christmas and Birthday Gifts. Because she was so used to living alone, I never wanted to impede too much on her space so whenever she told me she just wanted to rest or stay at home I didn’t push it.
She was so smart and funny, focused and goal oriented. She still had a New York accent so talking to her always made me feel like I was still close to home. There was no drama with her, I felt like she and I could have been friends for years.
Lorenzo and I found her in her home after I received an email from one of her friends asking me to check on her because they haven’t heard from her all week. When I thought about it, I remembered that she wasn’t responding to any of my text messages either. The worst part about finding her was having to call her mother to tell her that her daughter had passed away. She was only 34 years old.
Lorenzo and I did everything we could to help her mother and her family deal with this tragedy. Her other friends that lived here in Atlanta also came out to help as much as they could. We buried her yesterday; her mother decided to keep her here in Atlanta because she knew she loved it here. I felt relieved when I found out because at least now I can go visit her.
Knowing that life is so short, losing so many of my own family members over the years, and being in the military has made me somewhat comfortable with the concept of death. Its not something anyone wants to think about, but its something we are all going to face sooner or later so it just reinforces how we all need to be prepared for it when the time comes, whether it be by having a Will, life insurance, etc. Having to deal with losing someone you love will be hard enough, your family shouldn’t have to deal with worrying about how to pay for the funeral or how to manage your affairs.
I know that she is in a better place now, where this is no more pain. I don’t question why this happened, I just wonder why it happened so soon. I’m going to miss her so much.
Rest in peace L.T.L.