In the past few weeks four friends passed away. One a life partner, one a professional associate, one a high school turned lifelong friend, one a neighbour. COVID, heart attack, advanced age, suicide. With each one I wanted to phone Diane. She would cry with me, complain with me, worry with me. We’d wonder. Why him? Who next? When us?
But Diane’s gone now as well and I have no one to call. For almost fifty years she was the one I phoned, that is, if she didn’t call me first.
I have a bearing missing. Diane kept my wheels connected to the axle. She was the part that kept the ride smooth when the road got bumpy.
This is the time of life we always talked about—the time when we lose our people. We talked about how important it was that we had each other.
It’s quiet here. The wind has settled. I’ve lit the candles. Their steady flames reach up. It will be light soon. I’m left wondering and thinking that in a way she’s still with me.