Thursday, September 3, 2009

Rest in Peace, Dear Friend

Admittedly, slow, I finally joined Facebook. As a writer, this was rather important. To reconnect with old friends, family, and coworkers - even more important.

As I was searching for old friends, I decided to look up an old favorite roommate, Sue. We had lived together during college in our early twenties for a couple of years. She was a great roommate - open, funny, and a joy to be around. She was also a very caring individual and a good friend. We stayed in touch over the years and passed e-mails back and forth. Birthdays were always remembered, and we always said we would get together "one of these days." We lost touch a couple of years ago. I didn't realize why. In fact, I didn't realize anything until I came upon this editorial in Facebook when I did a search for her. Written by her mother in the Star Tribune, it was a tribute to Sue offered at the time the bridge collapsed in Minneapolis in 2007:
Daughter had a chance to say goodbye, but the victims didn't

"I am writing this in memory of my daughter, Sue Belan, who died of cervical cancer on Sept. 9, 2007. She was a patient at the university hospital at the time of the bridge collapse. As sick as she was, she said to me, "Mom, I know that I'm going to die, but all those people on the bridge never had a chance." Right to the end, she was concerned about other people!

... Because of the wonderful communication tool of CaringBridge, I have been following the lives of several people that were injured on that bridge. In addition to the physical injuries, there are a lot of emotional and psychological problems that each one must overcome. It seems to be a "new normal" for them as it must be for those who lost loved ones.

Let us continue to keep them in our thoughts and prayers."

I am sad that I did not know for two years that Sue had passed away, and sad that we had lost contact. I am also sad that I was not able to go to her funeral and honor her. So I choose to do that now.

So, this is for you, Sue. My funny, sweet roommate - we went out to see many bands in those days, danced the night away, and missed more than a few study sessions. You told me many wise things - the least of which was to not marry my former husband - for which you were right. I had many roommates over the years, but you were the best.

I'm sorry you were sick and sorry you struggled. For all the laughs we shared, and all the tears we shared - I shed some tears for you tonight. I will remember your jokes, your support, and your friendship...and that very contagious laugh of yours.
I've missed you over the years, and thought of you often, but now I know what missing you really means. Rest in peace, old friend.

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