I haven't been able to blog. My hands and arms aren't working. Or when they are, there is too much pain for blogging to be on my radar.
But right now, I am sad and I am afraid and I need to be here, among others of you who know these people and care too.
My friend Katrina lost her mother on Monday. It was sudden, she was ill just a couple of days. I'm heartbroken for her. No time for last conversations. No time for "I love you"s or "I'm sorry" or "Thank You"s. Just fear and then loss, final, unending loss. And she's there and I'm here and there's not a thing I can do to guide her through this. Because it doesn't matter that you've done it yourself. It doesn't matter that you've been making your way through the minefield of loss for nearly a decade. I can mark the way a little. But she still has to travel it. There aren't any shortcuts. And I know what's coming for her, soon - when the rest of the world goes back to living.
My friend T has just found out she has breast cancer. Her doctors are moving extremely quickly on this. Their urgency, while good to see - is frightening. She is young. Her husband has beaten cancer. They have young children. This isn't fair.
I know. No one ever said it had to be fair. I don't care. She's my friend and I love her and I'm wishing like hell I could take away her fear. Again, no matter how much I want to help, I am held back by the thousands of miles between us.
Another friend is on the run from her abusive, dangerous, furious ex-husband. A man filled with hate and fury at being exposed to his community for what he is. She has been safely ensconced far away - not even her family knowing where to find her. And yet now, it seems like he has. How is this possible? How can the police be so impotent? So inept? How can they risk this beautiful woman protecting her precious children? How can they let her fight by herself?
This is the worst thing about the internet, I think. Right now I'm crazed with the fact that I can love these women, feel genuine, real friendship for them. But miles and miles and sometimes oceans lie between us, leaving my offerings of help little more than useless. Lost in the ether, floating by - no use to her in any way.
No use to any of them. I don't believe in fate. I don't believe that God is dictating what is happening to anybody. But oh, how I wish the universe would just back off and leave these women (and so many others) alone. Keep them safe.
My friends, I love you, all three. I wish I could offer you more than empty words.