I am going to say goodbye to a friend this week.
Going with Mum Wednesday, coming home Thursday.
We are going to say goodbye to our friend V.
Our friend has cancer. She has had cancer for a while. She's been fighting a losing battle from the start, and she knew it, but she chose to fight because she didn't want to leave her increasingly more bewildered husband behind to face his own end alone and most likely lost in the haze of of time and confusion that steeps his brain.
Come soon, we were told, if you want to see her. Come soon while she still has a little good time left. Come soon if you want to know, really know, that she can hear, see, know who you are.
So we're going. A friend is watching the kids for me. This trip is for Mum and me.
Knowing us, we will go and laugh, and cry, and laugh some more. We will tell our friend that we love her and will miss her, and then laugh again. We may tell old stories from our track working days. We may look at and discuss her art - she is a marvelous stained-glass artisan, and I am lucky to have a couple of pieces of her work in my home.
Death is inevitable. I will come to my own end days, I know, and leave the people I love behind. But it's an abstract reality, isn't it? And cancer is a cruel death. This is a woman who lives with a shout, not a whisper. There will be a void where she was, when she goes. I will miss her.