I had thought Lynda was getting just a bit healthier in the last few months. We talked about having her come to visit.
She was only a four hour drive away from me, but it might as well have been the other side of the world. I can't travel that far, and certainly neither could she.
But talking about that future visit was something to put some hope into. And we did.
And then she disappeared.
She had talked several times about believing she didn't have much time left, and really she didn't want to be around much longer.
Life was full of grief for Lynda. I could only hope that it was just her supreme discouragement talking.
But a few weeks ago, I called her number and nobody answered. I called often, and the sense of foreboding grew with each unanswered call.
I emailed someone who might know what was happening -- I hoped maybe it was yet another hospital stay, or perhaps she was feeling better and was just out when I phoned.
I received an email that confirmed the worst. Lynda had passed away.
We would never talk on the phone again, never have her over for a backyard barbecue. She would never rest in my spare room.
Lynda was afraid that she would die and nobody would notice. I'm doing what I can to make sure that doesn't happen.
I know that life was a heavy burden for her, and had been for years without letup. I know that she had been wishing to die and now the pain and isolation was over for her.
I'm trying to accept that. But mostly I feel bad for me. Because my friend is gone.