my friend is dying

of cancer

a friend. a cyber-friend.

we met 4 years ago on a grief site, called “beyond indigo.” there were about 5 or 6 of us who all came on at the same time, and we were a nice, tight little group. (these internet sites can be great…in the middle of the night, when you feel awful, someone may be on. even if no one is on, someone has written about feeling as awful as you…helpful. very.)

she is very spiritual. she follows the sufi path. she told us all in a post about an “ancestor ” shrine, so i made one for tom. and while it is mostly dismantled now it helped me. it was such a wonderful idea and i learned and grew from it.

anna’s loves name was ishaaq, and he led groups, and loved life, and was gorgeous. they played and sang together at their meetings (i am probably getting terminology wrong here, but it does not matter) he, and she, both seemed so wild and free to me. and that’s in a spiritual sense. there were problems. he had diabetes, and died from complications of it. she has major vision issues, which have left her disabled, and yet anna is a remarkable artist.

it just comes from within her. she is a shining spirit, to me, to many people. she dreams of ishaaq, and they are beautiful dreams. she never thought my “winks” were silly. i’m grateful to her.

here’s one of my favorite anna facts: many people in her religious tradition seem to take new names. she has a friend who posts on FB as Shaqeena Nonofyourbeeswax. (again, i may be a little off, but you get the picture). that is a cool friend. anna is cool.

she’s dying.

i guess, in reality, we all are, but she is, in reality. she has ovarian cancer. she had an operation and chemo, she was doing well, and now it’s back. and faced with a decision of more chemo and shitty quality of life, she chose hospice and pain management and, quite possibly, another lovely year…another walk around the sun.

(i now wish something that anna taught me to people for their birthdays….”a wonderful walk around the sun”)

you really can just be friends online these days. we’ve never met, but we have a connection. we do talk on the phone, and i’m always glad when she calls. it breaks my heart that she has to go through this. it makes me so happy that she has the friends that she does who do, and will continue to, support her. i think that her spiritual tradition is amazing about death, about crossing over and about soul-mates and eternal life. when she called me to tell me she said “i’m going to be the first to see my soulmate”…i knew what she was saying. in that instant i felt happiness for her.

i felt jealous of her.

i know anna is facing some rough times. i know she will get help from hospice and her friends, family and religious family. when she makes her transition she will be “handed off” into the arms of her beloved ishaaq. and her friends will be sad that she’s gone, that her gentle, creative and loving spirit has left this world.

i will be too. i’m her cyber-friend.

one day we’ll meet, on another plane. maybe she’ll be there wearing one of her incredible dancing outfits and she’ll sing me into another world with her sweet voice. maybe she and ishaaq will be there and they’ll bring tom to me, having befriended him on the other side.

i wish anna peace and strength and love.

i know she’ll have all of those things as she moves through her life.