ALS is a horrible, cruel, crushing disease. For two years I watched as it eroded my good friend day by day, and the experience changed me. The loss of this creative, vibrant woman has hurt me in ways I've never been hurt before.
At her memorial, as I walked around the displays of her artwork, calligraphy and photography, I saw the woman I knew. As I looked at pictures from her life, we remembered the woman that she was. But I found out some things that I hadn't known before as well. For instance, she could sing like Janice Joplin and would rattle the windows with her rendition of Another Piece of My Heart.
There's always more, isn't there, to friends? Something that never comes up in conversation. Something they only show to certain people.
The Youngest Urchin, who is six, hasn't taken my friend's death well. She's become more clingy and has anxiety now about me dying. Which is hard for me to take. I've talked with her, but this is her first experience with the death of a person she knew. So we're stumbling our way through together.
For now, I'll send us all off with Janis.
Are there things mourners would find surprising about you at your memorial? Would you want to change that?
Nick Wilford, Black and White
3 hours ago