An Open Letter to My Best Friend After She Died

Let me start by saying I wrote this piece in June as a submission to PopSugar, an online global media a tech company.  They, unfortunately, did not select my writing for publication. However, while it was being reviewed I couldn’t have it out on any other websites.

Dear Best Friend,

Life certainly threw us a curve ball when you got sick. Benching our happy life plans for a moment. I said I would be there for you. To make you laugh, bring you cupcakes, to shop at our favorite clothing store and bring you gifts. To never judge your decisions or tell you what to do or what doctor to see. I said I would be there for your husband and daughter when you were too sick to care for them. I would always hold your hand and make you smile.

We both fell in love with our high school sweethearts, we were married two months apart and our bridesmaids wore the same dresses but in different colors. We made plans. We made big plans to celebrate our 40th Birthdays and our 10 year wedding anniversaries to travel the world together with our husbands. To plant our summertime flowers, to decorate our houses to raise our children together. To drink wine, lots of wine. We made big plans to laugh, we made big plans to get through life’s toughest moments together. We had plans to stay friends forever. I said I would be there for you always, as your best friend and confidant.

Life certainly threw us a wrecking ball when you died. Smashing our happy life plans into a million pieces. I said I would be there for you, always. I said I would be there for your husband and daughter. I hope, I am doing okay. Without you by my side. I am left to figure out how to navigate life as a wife and a mother without you–who else just knows what I am thinking. We held back nothing from one another.

I am here, with a mind of unsaid words and lists of plans that we will never be able to do together.
My friend, we had the privilege of 18 years together and during your fight with breast cancer, we were lucky to celebrate your time on earth twice. Your strength and determination to fight and stay positive as the ugly cancer overtook your body. I can honestly say, I have never seen you so tough. There were times when you just wanted to be in bed, you were so tired, but you would say, “I am going to get in bed and cry and tomorrow I will get up and fight again.” You appeared so brave. We never spoke of the what-ifs–even though I know you were thinking about them. You left your high school sweetheart and a beautiful little girl. It pains me that she will never get to know you, to know what an amazing mother to her you were for the three years you had together. You carried those thoughts alone.

You were a girl I knew since elementary school–you had the brightest smile.
You were a girl I worked with for two years–before we decided we liked each other.
You were a friend for years–before we were roommates.
You were my best friend for 18 years and I will speak of you only in the highest regards all the days of my life.

Thank you for being my very best friend.
I love you and cherish our friendship more than you will ever know.


37 Days

I think I’m doing a pretty good job of being strong.  I’m a wife, a mother, a daughter, a friend and an employee.  I have to get through the days and I have been doing just that. I’ve wanted to write and post more about the loss of my best friend, Meg, but I didn’t want to taint the mission of my blog, which was to live life and ultimately achieve happiness. Certainly, my readers would be tired of the tears and as hard as it is to sometimes discuss, death is part of life.  A friend shared with me today, when I was discussing my concern over my post topics with her, said, “happiness isn’t static, there are always going to be ebbs and flows.” She encouraged me to continue with my post–and understood my need for sharing my feelings with a virtual community. “Maybe your post will help one person, maybe it will help two, maybe it will help hundreds but at the end of the day, writing and posting will certainly help you.”

–So grab a tissue, or two–

Written: January 21, 2018, Posted January 24, 2018

To Meg:

It’s been 37 days since I lost you. Since you left this earth for heaven. Is that where you are? Not a day goes by that I don’t think about you and as days do they have continued to go on.

Do you know what? The fear that I had, that fear that I wouldn’t know how to navigate life without you–it is still ever so present, except the fear is masked–the fear is hidden behind my smile, inside my head, inside the lie of “I’m doing okay,” which is what I tell others when they ask, “how I am?”  I thought for a moment that the fear was subsiding. That my grief of losing you was getting easier each day, it wasn’t getting easier it was just getting pushed down as life was creeping back in.  

The worst thing about death is just that, death. It’s final, there is no undoing. For the living, those that have loved and lost, we have to move forward. For us, the minutes and hours keep coming. They don’t stop just because we’re grieving.

I’ve had to move forward one minute, one hour, one day, one week at a time. Since as we know, even when someone dies, the moon rises and falls each day, the world still turns and rotates around the sun. We have to get up every day and cross things off our personal to-do lists. In my life, the past 37 days have been busy, I haven’t had time to fully process the loss of you. How do you do that when you have to be present in life?

Life continues, birthdays come, holidays come, the year ends, a new year begins, new jobs are started, school begins again, sports start again, carpools, playdates, work trips, personal trips, manicures, eyebrow waxing, grocery shopping, tv, date nights, target runs–the daily grind.

I tried to add in some happiness, a staycation in the city for NYE,  Tot Shabbat and Ice Skating with your family, date nights with hubby, and family game nights.  Caleb lost his third tooth and I majorly #momfailed the tooth fairy game. The joy of every day is slowing creeping its way in and I am welcoming it with open arms. But, as quickly as the good comes in, is as quickly as it went out. More death and sadness loomed for our family as hubby’s uncle passed away suddenly, as did my mother’s best friend. I was thrust back to the cemetery where we buried you just 35 days before, and to face head on that attending a funeral for a dear friend of my mother’s and our family, who also lost her battle to cancer, was just too soon.

In a few days, I’ll be celebrating my birthday. It will be the first one in at least ten + years that we won’t celebrate together.  That I won’t get a call from you.  That we won’t go out for a girls night. That you won’t post one of your photo collages on my Facebook Page.  

This, unfortunately, is life. This is the dirty, ugly side of life that people don’t talk about or post about on Facebook. This is real. This is the reality. So I write this message on the 37th day, saying the things that people don’t talk about. I promise I’m not sad all the time. Caleb and hubby need me, they need to see me healing and happy. I pray that 37 days from now, life will begin to feel a bit more balanced and maybe just maybe a bit more magical.



For Hire: One New Best Friend

I’m so angry with you my friend. I don’t even know where to begin. So I’ll start where I think that it all went bad.  I’ll remember that day for the rest of my life. It was August 29th.  I was away, on a road trip with my family and you had the audacity to text me that you missed me and made me feel bad that I wasn’t there to get dinner with you. That I was the one who was in the wrong because I went on a driving trip for 10 days with my parents.  Then to make matters worse, you texted me with some startling news. Why did you want to ruin my trip with something important? Something I had to start focusing on the minute you told me. Why couldn’t it wait to be discussed until I was home, It was only a few more days until I returned. So yes, I’m certain, that’s where we started to go bad.

I certainly didn’t tell you that I was upset at you when I returned.  It wouldn’t have changed the outcome. The next few weeks seemed regular. We shared our days, as usual, typical day to day discussions, not speaking of our text conversation while I was away.  You told me you were seeing our doctor.  Then you called me to yell.  You were so angry that the doctor, with whom I loved, wronged you.  The doctor who didn’t read your chart before she called you and broke your news in a not so professional manner. I was astounded! How could you be voicing such negative feelings for someone who was just trying to help you?  To give you the courtesy “heads up”  that something was wrong.

And that’s when it really went bad.  That’s when the next 17 months became all about YOU!

Here is best friend, in black and white, the reasons that I am mad at you.

  1. You are selfish: It’s always about you.  I have to check in every day with you, to see how you are doing.  You never return the favor.  What kind of one-sided friendship do we have here?
  2. You are just a roller coaster of emotions: One minute you’re up, the other you’re down. I can’t keep up.  Pick a feeling and go for it!  It may be liberating.
  3. Vanity: You felt the need to have body work done,  I don’t get it.  You are beautiful as you are.  Your smile lights up a room.  Why you felt the need to shave your head and change your body is beyond me.  Can we also talk about your need to wear hats? It’s like the ladies we’d make fun of all the time who wore sunglasses indoors–take off your hat.  You shaved your head, now show the world your handy work.
  4. Communication: We used to talk on the phone, we used to spend hours together just being silly. Now you’re too tired to even text.  Some of us also need a friend.  See #1
  5. You left me: What did I do to deserve you abandoning me? Our friendship? The moment that life took a turn for the worse you vanished.  Did you think it would help me if you weren’t there for me? You didn’t teach me how to get through life’s everyday moments without you.

The top five things above, best friend applicant who is considering applying for the job, are things not to do.  It’s really hard work and frankly, draining to be mad at a friend.  So if we can stick to the tasks below on what I’m looking for in a new best friend, that would be appreciative.  Oh, and best friend, if you’re reading this from wherever you are, just remember what you’re giving up by leaving.

  1. Someone that won’t be selfish:  Even in your worst days, you found the light.  You’d say, “I’m going to get in bed and cry and tomorrow I’ll get up and fight again.” That is something I need in a friend.  Someone that will Rise Up. To rise up to the challenges that life throws our way. To be strong. To not let one bad day define you.
  2. Show your feelings: I need to be able to read you, like to know what’s in your head so you don’t even need to tell me.  I need to be able to tell you my secrets, things that I can’t tell anyone else.  You need to be able to do the same. We need to have jokes and laughter between us about those feelings.
  3. Vanity: You need to be able to be yourself with me.  Not to be scared to show me your war wounds. To trust that I’ll love you with or without makeup, with one-boob, a clean house and above all, having your shit together.
  4. Talk to me, talk with me, and listen to each other:  I have a ton of grand plans and I need my supportive friend to talk me down when I’m proposing something crazy or to lift me up when you see me on the brink of greatness.  To trust that at the end of the day, I’ll be there for you.  We’ll be there for each other. To just sit and have wine and talk about nothing, to speak about everything.  Judgment free zone.
  5. Don’t ever leave me:  I recently lost my best friend and my world shattered into a million pieces.  I don’t know how to navigate life without her by my side and I need someone new that can show me the way.  

 I don’t know why best friend, that shitty things happen to good people, but I’m so mad at you for going away. I’m grateful for my friendship with you, but right now I am just so angry. I hope to one day rise above the tears and the sadness and to heal from how you’ve wronged me by leaving in the prime of your life.  You left a million things undone and unsaid.  It’s not like you not to try to have everything in its place, to organize chaos, to tidy things that you could control.

Don’t worry my best friend, you’re not replaceable. You had big feet and an even bigger heart. I’ll never find someone to fill your huge shoes. I can’t just walk down the street and find someone like you. I’ll never find someone to get through the teenage angst, to get through our quarter-life crisis with again. To grow together from young silly girls to young silly women. To be mother’s together and navigate raising a young child again.  I’ll never find someone that loved their partner as much as we individually love ours–since we were girls.  

My best friend, we’ve been together for 18 years or “Chai”. In Hebrew, Chai is literally translated to mean “life” and to those of us who believe in the teachings of our faith, we are guided by general principles kindness, thoughtfulness, selflessness and remaining good natured, both morally and ethically during life on Earth. My best friend, those general life principals sum you right up. It may sound cliche, but you were so kind, that even the last day I saw you alive, you told me I looked skinny.  Over the years we’ve certainly gained life’s weight and you knew what I needed to hear before you left me.    

So for now, if you’ll accept that I’m angry and upset with you for leaving me, for letting that ridiculous cancer take the best parts of you from this earth, then I’ll call off the search for a new best friend. It was silly of me to think I’d ever find someone to replace the bond that we built. It was silly of me to think I could ever replace you.


Rest peacefully my dearest friend, under the shade of a tall tall tree.  

I love you.