I've had several people reassure me that I was a good influence in my friend's life, which is not at all bad, but at the same time, I want to cry out: "But she was a good influence in mine!"
I realized yesterday-- or perhaps it was the day before; my time sense has gone funny-- that I have a dual problem at the moment. Firstly, I have a friend who died in a violent way. And, secondly, the friend whom I would have visited with to debrief, the woman at whose kitchen table I would have sat and on whose shoulder I would have cried, whose fridge I would have raided and whom I would have asked for, and from whom I would have received, many, many hugs, is gone. She is not my Very Best Friend Of All time, and I really don't think she would have characterized me that way for her, either-- but she was like a sister to me, and in that way a wonderful, wonderful influence on my life. There is a part of my brain which does not comprehend the fact of her gone-ness yet, which refuses to believe. Yet surely there is a part of me which does understand, because I have cried some part of every day since Tuesday, and I spent basically all of Wednesday and Thursday moving at something like 1/4 speed and feeling really tired and numb. Numb, that is, except for the upset and anguish which was so huge that it got through anyway.
And now I am (mostly) back. I am determined to work as much as I can; I think that both body and soul heal better and more quickly when they are given the opportunity to work, so work is what I seek. Good work, that is to say; work which feels genuinely helpful to others. Curiously, one of the kindest things anyone has done for me so far was to call me up and ask if I could come over and help clean her children's rooms. She and I already have a warm relationship; I already hold her baby during the third hour of church sometimes. What this means is that it was very easy for me to pop on over, help the boy-child with room-cleaning, hold the baby to prevent Lego-consumption, and then believe her when she told me that I had been helpful that day.
And, just in case I haven't said it recently enough, to my family, to my friends: I love you. I am thankful to you. That last post-- if it hurts you in any way, just don't read it. I am surrounded by love, and I become more and more aware of this fact all the time.