She was way cooler than me. She was….I hate the word was. I hate thinking of her in past tense. I hate the term RIP, because it makes me feel like she is asleep and I can’t wake her up. I won’t utter the acronym for fear that I am somehow admitting that I don’t get to see her anymore because she is resting forever. I want her to get up now. I want to hear her laugh. But, I do hear it. I can hear it right now. She was amazing at talking and laughing at the same time. Some of her best material was a mix of the two. Was. There is that damn word again.
March introduced to me a whole new vocabulary. Carona, Covid, Social Distancing, Glioblastoma Multiform. The virus and all of its sinister nomenclature has felt utterly secondary to what happened to Lauren. A nap, ended in a stroke, which revealed a tumor that would take her life within three months. No mask or hand washing or social distance could stop it.
At first, we all wanted her to fight. I even posted boxing allegories on her caring bridge site.
In the RED Corner: The Intruder…a tumor from hell that landed a non-lethal but devastating blow in round one!
In the GOLD Corner: Wearing a savage open faced hospital gown, floral tats and a bad ass new hair cut, is the legend, the icon, the soon to be champion, Lauren Libby. She is not alone in her fight, having assembled one of the greatest teams of coaches and trainers we have seen to date, to support her as she begins Round Two. She has already impressed the judges with her courage, perseverance, and ability to rise up to the challenge of her rival.
Keep fighting the good fight Lauren. We’re in your corner.
Round two goes to that son of a bitch in then red corner. But our fighter is still in the ring. She is still here. And so we go to her corner and prepare for round 3.
ROUND 3 GOES TO LAUREN LIBBY!
Still in the Gold Corner, and soon to be wearing her own clothes, is our fighter. Struck down but not destroyed, her perseverance and strength are impressing the hell out of the judges. And although they say she can’t win the fight, this fighter doesn’t do “can’t”. So, we will come to her corner, even if we have to stand 6 feet away…
But, in round four, we discovered the fight was rigged. We suddenly wanted her to surrender. Winning no longer meant fighting, it meant surrender. It meant saying goodbye. It meant letting go. And it would take even more courage than fighting on.
Grieving is a strange thing. It is a composition of feelings that don’t always naturally play well together. Certainly not in unison–like gratitude and longing, or desperation and acceptance. So it is hard music to listen to. When you turn it down, you feel like you need to turn it back on. And when it is on, you wish it would stop.
It’s a fitting analogy since music was our favorite place to meet.
The four of us. Glorious girlfriends forever. Her name always came first. Lauren, Julie and Michelle. It was never a matter of favoritism, it’s just the way it was. She was the alpha of our foursome. The party would officially begin upon her arrival. She made things feel wild and safe all at once. Even though, the four of us were all so different, we were so much the same. United by what made us laugh, what made us cry, what made us want to sing and dance and dress up and play. We grew up shoulder to shoulder and and walked through life in full support of one another. Even at the end. The three of us came to her side together, reminding her that we were not an “us” without her. That our collective was forged with her metal in the fire. That what we built over 25 years would hold up forever…four walls. We promised her that her little girl would know that her mother loved her fiercely.
I hate that she is gone & I love that we all loved each other well…all the way to the end.