The end of the journey / by Susie Lubell


Hi. We're going home today. Well, we're flying to London tonight and then to San Francisco tomorrow morning. Anyway, we're at the end of our journey. I would say this was our best trip so far. And even though politically this country is a disaster (maybe more on that later) it is a spectacular place.

Last I wrote I was dealing with a bout of nausea. So annoying. It passed a day or so later but I spent that day thinking about my friend Renee, a blogging friend I met a few months ago. She was dying of cancer, but through her blog, had quite a following.  We used to leave pithy little comments for each other. Heartfelt. Silly. Sometimes serious. Usually not. Her situation was serious enough. I actually felt loved by her, which I know sounds ridiculous, since we never met or even spoke on the phone. I knew her prognosis was bad and that the end was near but somehow I convinced myself that she'd be fine. Her posts and comments to me were so full of life, I could not imagine her any other way.

In the last month or so we stopped hearing from Renee and started hearing from her lovely daughter Angelique so I knew things had turned. In the last post where it seemed it was only a matter of days, hours. She was still suffering but fighting for whatever time she could have with the family she loved so much. I kept wanting to leave comments true to the style of our relationship. Renee! Go to the light! I am sure there is fast speed wireless in the next world! We'll all be waiting for your next dispatch from the great beyond. And tell god I think cancers blows. But I couldn't. It all seemed so grim and unfair.

So the nausea made me think of her. She was always battling nausea and everything else. Always in treatment. Always exhausted. But strong in spirit. And always with a sense of humor, or so it appeared to me anyway. And I thought, crimey, I can't even deal with a little nausea for a day and a half and this incredible woman has been in it for years.

Turns out she died on that Tuesday. And so many of us are feeling the loss.