How Quickly “IS” Becomes “WAS”


Over the last week, I noticed when I talk about Patty, I use the past tense.

I loved her.

She was dear to me.

She was a good friend.

To know her was so love her.  

She was an amazing person.  

I caught myself doing this and was kind of like, WTF?

Of course I still LOVE her.  Present tense.  And of course she IS still dear to me.  Present tense.  She will always be a great friend and an amazing person.  Those are just facts that go on and on ad infinitum.


Fuck it.

I’m trying hard to remember a specific memory about Patty.  Truth is, after I left that job, we didn’t spend a ton of time together.  But that didn’t matter much.  We had a bond and a very deep mutual affection.  Like family you don’t see for many years because they live far off.

See, I did it again.

We still HAVE a bond and deep mutual affection.  Death does not get to put that in the past tense.

Death, that fucking fucker.

Anyway, the last time I saw Patty was when I was on maternity leave with Emily.  We went out to lunch.  I was still struggling with nursing Em and I sat there, scrunched up in this booth, trying to get Emily to pay attention to my boob and latch. But Em was fussy.  Patty held her patiently while I ate and the two of them made a love connection.  Patty loved babies.  She never had any, but she sure loved them and never was bitter or begrudging that other people had babies and she didn’t.

I guess it was her calm energy and sweet spirit Emily responded to that day.

We stayed in touch on Facebook and email, me and Patty.  Then we fell out of touch for about a year.  Then she died.

I didn’t know she was sick.  Turns out a lot of people didn’t know she was sick.  I think she tried to keep it private, and tried to protect people from the ravages of her illness.  She wasn’t one to make a fuss or draw attention to herself.

She was one of the best of the best.  

Um yeah.  Fuck you death.  She still IS one of the best of the best.  Present fucking tense.

I may not believe in God as such, but I very much believe in Love. And I believe Love doesn’t die.

So, I’ve got to focus really hard on not letting that black hole suck up my present tense and turn it into the past.  Because that would be the real loss.


6 responses »

  1. I still don’t know know how to refer to my mom as well who we recently lost. She is so present in all of my thoughts and usually will speak about her in the present but then catch myself midway confused as well because the other person (who does not know of her passing) may still think she is physically here with me. So then it leads them to say that they cannot wait to meet her some day which leaves me distraught with sorrow. Death is still a confusing term for me which I have not resolved for myself. Sigh. I hope it gets better

    • I’m so sorry for your loss. I think like everything else, grief and mourning is a really personal thing and there is no one rule for how to get it done. It is really hard to make sense of it. I think you have to follow your heart and try to listen to the voice of love that is the best guide as we walk through the dark night of the soul. I’ll keep you in my heart and send positive vibes for peace to come to you. Thanks for reading and resonating. It really helps me so much. Xo.

      • Yes. Your blog post came at the right time for me. I still have not understood the grieving process. Sometimes I’m sad, other times it feels like she is still here where I could pick up the phone and talk to her. But then realization sinks in and am at a loss. Time, as friends tell me, will help me. I know she is in a better place as she is no longer in pain but I still miss her.

      • I’m glad my words were helpful. I think grieving is a very twisty turney mess. There is no order and the feelings are intense. Some of the stuff on a hospice website really helped me with getting a bit of perspective. Honor your feelings and your love. It might not get better, but it will get different. Hang in there. Xo.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s