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Standing in her Stead

I lost my best friend. Lost. Like I don’t know where she went. You lose a ball or a game, not a person, not when they die. I know where she is, or where I think she is. In heaven. My best friend had the most compassionate and loyal heart. She struggled with her demons, but always tried her best to do right by others when she could. It was hard I’m sure. Imagine your heart wanting to do one thing and your head half the time agreeing and half the time screaming at you to do the opposite. My best friend loved animals, she loved being active, she loved her family something fierce. We had a special bond. One that not everyone could see, but her and I could always feel. It’s hard to show others what she meant to me. I can’t call her my sister, I have lots of best friends, and cousin doesn’t mean much to some people. But she was all that and more to me. I imagine having a younger sister was what I felt having her. And she chose a bad path. So you could blame her, or her parents, or her friends, or us. It’s easy to blame someone who ODs, but now that I’m on the side of the victim, I can clearly see that they truly are victims. Trapped in a world that’s all their own. And all I can do is cry. Not even for her though. She’s happier now, I know it. And she’s with other, missed family members and they are happy looking down on the rest of us. But down here, we are not so happy. There’s a void in our life that used to be filled with pleasure or worry or hope. And now it’s just empty. And that’s how I feel sometimes and I don’t know if those close to me can truly understand it, or are just vaguely trying to comfort me. Without a clue what to do. But the emptiness is there all the same, a deep and aching longing for my cousin. Towards the end, it was just a random text of a memory, but it was there all the same. And now it’s not. So those memories are and always will be memories and there will be no more. And maybe that’s the saddest part. That all of those memories were supposed to be the beginning to our long, twisting life stories, but her story isn’t so long. It’s a short tale of a charming girl who captured so many hearts even, and most destructively, her own. And so now I carry her beautiful memory plus some sadness. And hopefully one day it’ll dull and I’ll just be happy for her, that she no longer suffers. So that every time I celebrate my birthday, or listen to our musical, or see our favorite animal, or think of my childhood, or look to my future, I won’t be haunted by this hole in my heart, but rather grateful for its existence. Because it means that our bond was real and she was really my best friend and that her and I were in this together. And she’s left me to carry on when the burden got too heavy, but she trusted me to stand in her stead and be strong without her. I just hope that I can live up to that.

Webmaster’s note: This is a free form poem by Lindsay Chombok