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Friend and Soulmate 
Started by tstorm
05 Sep 2021, 5:18 AM

I had always wanted a sister and then along came my friend C. It feels unusual for me, being a woman, to call a friend a soulmate but that is what she has come to mean to me. We have an age difference of 17 years but that does not show when we are together, what we have shared and the roads we have travelled. She taught me to play Boggle, a game I had never heard of. She never had a buddy to play with until I came along. She was patient with me, beating my ass time after time after time. Until the day came when I was finally able to beat her and gloat. We became so competitive there was usually a lot of swearing and name calling going on. She would always be there for me when I was dealing with all of my surgeries. Dropping me off or picking me up. Without question, she became my go to person. I was more close to her and could depend on her, more than my own family members. We were like two peas in a pod. We could share anything. We had our ups and downs. We survived. We had disagreemets. We survived. I cannot put into words the depth of love we had for each other. Year after year that love only grew. I became more family than friend. I would visit her often and each time her husband was gracious in serving us  dinner. Her home became my home. My home became her home. Jump ahead to COVID. Isolation. No visiting C. We would FaceTime each other and play Boggle that way. That's how addictive we were. Then came my loses. My therapist retired, my family doctor retired, my dad and aunt died within 2 weeks of each other. I found out  I had glaucoma. A lot to deal with. C told me one day that she had to have surgery for hemmerhoids. Seemed like an everyday kind of surgery.  But that was just the tip of the iceberg. The surgery did not help with the pain that started after the surgery. And the pain just got worse and worse. I would visit her at home and each time she needed to go to the bathroom, she would come out and life down on the floor. C. was in excruciating pain. Writhing on the floor. One day she reached out to me and asked if I could take her to Emergency because she had reached her limit of pain. I was at her place within 30 minutes. She could not stand and had to lie down to try to get any relief from the pain. Doctors would examine her. They told her she was badly constipated and backed up. With three enemas there was no relief. They told her they could operate to remove the blockage but they felt it would resolve on it's own. That it would pass in a few days. That day I sat with her, held her hand, tried to reassure her that everything would be fine. I saw the worst of our health care system when a nurse told her to get up off the floor. C had deficated on the floor because she was not able to sit on the toilet. The nurse was annoyed at the situation and told her to get up because now she had to clean up the floor. I saw her in more ways than one. I brought her towels and blankets, saw her completely disrobed and saw her in all her vulnerabilities. Finally the doctors sent her home. I was at work one day when C texted me, "I'm  at the hospital. I have cancer". I was going to text her back and thought, "What the hell am I doing? I've just been told that my best friend has cancer and I'm going to text her back?" I called her back right away. She told me she was just heading for a CT. I told her I was coming right away. I was in tears as I ran to my supervisors office and told her I had to leave. I just found out my friend has cancer. That day was the beginning of the end. Through ups and hopes and dreams the news became worse and worse month after month. Spending much time in the hospital, receiving many blood transfusions, going through chemo and finally radiation the cancer had spread. Being released she was finally able to go home. She fell and broke her wrist. She recovered. With both of us vaccinated I was finally able to visit her in person. We played Boggle. I was so happy to finally see her. She seemed in good spirits. I tried texting her for about a week with no response. She was back in hospital. This time there was no going back home. She had fallen again at home. Her husband was going to try and help her up but she told him that if he tried he would hurt himself. He was not a strong man and very thin with his own back and leg pains. C said she had had enough. She had nothing left to give. She had no more energy. She gave her all. And that if he attempted to help her up she would fight him every step of the day. Her husband knew that if he called an ambulance, it would mean she was never coming home again. He gave in and called the ambulance and C was taken to hospital one more time. I thought that this was the end. That I would never see her again. One day, after work, she called me out of the blue. I was expecting the worst. She asked me what I was doing. I told her I was going to Dollorama. She asked me to get her Juicy Fruit. Juicy Fruit? Oh, the gum. She asked if I wanted to come for a visit. I was by her bedside by the hour. She had also asked for a cold drink and fries. We spent 2 quality hours that afternoon. Just talking, keeping things light, laughing and remembering all the great times we had. I kissed her goodbye not knowing if that would be the last time I would see her. She had reached out to me to say her final farewell. To see me one last time. Over the past 2 weeks I tried calling and FaceTiming her. No response. I texted her daughter. C was sleeping a lot and being transferred to hospice. The end is near. I feel selfish. I feel guilty for my feelings of loss. I feel like someone has taken a double edged sword and stuck it through my chest into my heart. I haven't heard from her or her daughter. Her daughter told me she would keep me posted on her condition and if or when she could have visitors. I don't want to go on without her. I don't feel I have support. I don't have a significant other, my brother is not good with feelings, and the only person I can talk to is now in her final stages until, as she puts it, "going to meet her maker". Even when my mom died from Alzheimer's, I have not felt such grief as I do with C. I am lost and each day I think will be her last. If anyone believes in premonitions or ghosts or spirits, now is a good time to let on that I do. I have experienced it at least three times. I'm hoping that C, when she does leave this earth, will let me know in her spiritual way. I hurt so much. I actually feel sick and nauseous. Although we have said our farewells I'm not ready to let go. I don't think I will ever be ready. C wanted to travel to Nova Scotia with me. One last time. We had gone there in 2017 for the first time because it was my dream to visit the East Coast. She invited herself and I was thrilled to have her as my companion. 2022 would of been our last but that is not to be. She did say she would be coming with me. In mind, heart, and soul. I feel so alone. 
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Reply by eKIM
05 Sep 2021, 4:04 PM


Isn't journaling therapeutic?   Even though it can be like "shouting into a storm", it still feels good to shout.  And every once in a while, you hear a faint answer.

You had a good shout TSTORM. I heard/read it all.  I didn't want you to think that no one was listening. 

Thank you for your sweet vulnerability/secret strength in showing your precious, wonderful self, TSTORM.

Whenever I reach out to someone, it is a learning/re-affirming experience for me.

Your story re-affirmed my belief in Angels (Earth-Dwelling) and (Celestial).  You and C certainly are sweet EarthAngels who found one another. How else could it be that such love should exist?

That's the good news. 

The great news is (in my belief system, anyway) is that you are not saying "Goodbye" to one another.  You are saying "See you later". 

I believe that you will have a joyous reunion one day on "TheOtherSide".  All will be peace and love and joy for eternity. 

This thought has always "carried" me through the losses of my loved ones over the years.  It has also helped me immeasurably accept my own mortality. 

I send you thoughts of peace and love, TSTORM. 

May the great love that you have in your heart, be the fountain of peace that will sustain you - now and forever.

- eKim
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Reply by tstorm
05 Sep 2021, 6:42 PM

Hi eKim,

I appreciate you taking the time to read my long rant and your response. Truly C is my saving grace on this earth. Her circle of friends would agree with me. I journal a lot. More so now than before. She hand crafted me a journal and that is where I have been writing about her struggle with cancer. Saving her texts, her emails. When I don't hear anything from her or her daughter I feel angry and left out. Thinking is she already dead or near death and can't be by her bedside to say my final farewells. I'm grieving every day and when the day comes that she does leaves this earth I will need to take time off work. Even now I find myself in tears at work. Hoping no one will notice my grief. Then it angers me when I try to share with co-workers what is going on in my life. They ask how I am doing and when I start to talk about C there is one woman who seems so self involved that she tunes me out. There is no response from her. There are 2 other people I work with that have become friends and they do offer their support and listen to ramble on about C. How do I travel through this life without my friend. I don't really want to. And that scares me. I know I have her memories but being apart from her physically is what I struggle with. Hugging her and hearing her voice. She has touched a lot of people in her life. Made many friends. But I want to be there for her in her final hours. When she accompanied me to Nova Scotia we found a beach on the South side. It's called Crescent Beach. Probably one of a handful of beaches where you can drive your car. It is that huge. On the Atlantic Ocean. She dove into the waves with such joy. It was so amazing to see her smile and laugh. That journy, for both of us, was such a cleansing experience. There was just the two of us. With the sounds of the waves, the smell of the ocean. I'm going to share something that touched my soul so deeply I found myself speechless when C told me what her plans were. Her wishes are to be cremated. But she wants her ashes scattered into the Atlantic Ocean. At the beach we found together and experienced the thrill and beauty of nature at it's best. I am planning to go to NS in 2022 anyway. I had been planning that for the past 2 years. With her imminint death her plans on coming with me once more have become only a dream. She told me this when I visited her at the hospital. She told me she would be coming with me to NS. I will carry her spirit and soul with me to that same ocean. To that same beach. To those waves where she jumped in like a child. I didn't plan on going there. It's a long drive from where I'll be staying. But it will be worth the journey just to experience, one more time, our special place. I know her family have always wanted to go to NS and I think they plan on doing that next summer. To grant her her final wish. I pray I can be part of their journey when they scatter her ashes. And if not, I will travel their with her soul in my heart and jump in the waves like a child.
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Reply by Mert
08 Sep 2021, 2:24 AM

I'm identifying with you. I lost my dear friend just over a month ago, about a year and a half after she was diagnosed with terminal cancer. She was the friend who 'got me'. She understood me in a way no one else has ever; we could tell one another everything without holding back our mixed feelings or confused thoughts. We could say I love you to one another even though we both came from English backgrounds where those words or rarely heard or spoken. I have shed tears of course, but I feel as though I've only just begun to register the full impact of her loss, just begun the process of grieving knowing that her passing leaves a hole in my life and in my heart that no one else can fill.


I Identify also with your sense of being shut out inexperienced this too as my friend approached the end of her life. Because of Covid I could only visit her with prior permission; I had to make an appointment and only stay for a certain length of time. Of course I broke that rule, but as she got weaker and her energy began to fail it became clear that all she could do was respond to the needs of her husband and family. She said her last goodbye to me a few days before the end of her life and like you I was left not knowing what was happening. And one day her name and number showed up on my phone but when I answered I heard her husbands voice and that's when I knew she was gone. 

I think part of what makes this harder is that the grief we feel is not always acknowledged or understood by those around us. People think"well she was just a friend" as if the loss is minor compared with losing a family member. But as you have said, a friend who is also a soulmate is irreplaceable and the bond runs very deep; when this is not recognized and understood we're left all alone in shouldeating our pain.

I'm glad you've reached out and I hope connecting with us will help you to feel less alone and more received, understood snd supported. Please be gentle with yourself and do whatever you need to do to embrace and comfort your broken heart.


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Reply by eKIM
08 Sep 2021, 5:09 PM

Grief and the degree to which one grieves isn't always a matter of DNA/bloodlines. 

Often it is the relationship (and sometimes the result of a dysfunctional relationship) that can be the biggest factor.

Recently I asked a client, "On a scale of 0 to 10, with 10 being the highest) where would you rank your present grief?"  Everyone else (in the past) had given me a number between 0 and 10.

She said, "10 BILLION!!!". 

She had lost her very dear friend.

- eKim
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Reply by tstorm
08 Sep 2021, 6:51 PM


You hit the nail on the head. And I know exactly where you're coming from. The depth of this friendship, like yours, is something no one will understand. At least I don't think they will. Even my own family just thinks it's an everyday, fair weather friend. I'm trying to understand and accept that her family are her top priorities. Especially her husband. And that hurts very deeply. Not knowing what is going on from day to day I can't shake the feeling that she is dead. And then, out of the blue, she will either call or message me. And then I can breathe again. Then the silence and I'm thinking the worst. I feel like a bit of me is dying slowly day by day. Thank you Mert.

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Reply by tstorm
08 Sep 2021, 6:55 PM


I wouldn't be able to pick a number from 1-10 either. My friendship with Carole is off the scales. 

When I want to reply to an individual who has seen my post how do I do it directly or do I need to reply to each person the way I am doing it now?

Are you from Toronto? Are there in-person support groups?  I may have to look into that. One day I can feel alright and the next I am always filled with tears.

Thank you,

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08 Sep 2021, 7:20 PM

Hi Tstorm,
I'm the moderator of the Discussion Forums and I am so glad you were able to find us and connect with some of the community. 

The way the Discussion Forum system is now means that when you post - everyone who is on this 'thread' will see your response. I know some have asked for a more direct message to individuals but that is not possible currently. 

Thinking about support groups - Programs and Services  I have linked this to services that are available in ON - and you can look through to see if there is a group or service close to you that you would find helpful. And of course eKIM and Mert might have suggestions. 

I was reminded of this part of an article on grief  Kinds of grief  The sentence that says, 'the key to coping is to recognize that you are not crazy and (as you know so well) these feelings are very real and normal,' has always caught my attention.

Take care Tstorm.

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Reply by tstorm
08 Sep 2021, 7:54 PM

Hi Katherine,

Thank you for your response. I quickly scanned over the Kinds of grief section. And I'm scared to read the different topics. What I do know is that I will need help. Maybe even now. I feel grief most of the time, almost every day. There are times I don't want to go on living without Carole. And then there are times when I think I'm strong enough to handle all this on my own. I am in touch with my family doctor and I have an hour of counselling with her when I need it. What I really would like to participate in is a support group in Ottawa. I'm not thrilled about on line groups. I find that rather intimidating and I am rather shy. Yes, believe it or not. I have made 2 friends at work who keep telling me they are there for me. But to what extent. 

Thank you again Katherine,
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Reply by eKIM
08 Sep 2021, 10:49 PM

Hi TStorm

 I am a volunteer at two hospices here near Toronto.  Since covid, I have been doing everything by phone and zoom. 

 I am currently helping 10 people in a Group & Bereavement format - 10 weeks of weekly sessions. 

 I also am helping three people 1 on 1 with Grief & Bereavement  - 12 weeks of weekly sessions.

 These sessions are offered at no cost.

 We are restricted to helping people only within our own region.  There must be something similar in Ottawa, where you are.

 If you have a severe grief reaction or what is called “complicated grief”, it is important to seek the help of professionals in this field.

 You said:

 “I feel grief most of the time, almost every day. There are times I don't want to go on living without Carole. And then there are times when I think I'm strong enough to handle all this on my own.”

 Grief is something that can last a lifetime – although it becomes more manageable with time for most people.

 The purpose of our 12 week sessions is to help someone get to the point where people “KNOW that they are strong enough to handle this on their own.”

 The Journey of Healing is a solo journey, for everyone.  Even though you are alone you never have to feel lonely.  There are ALWAYS people out there that will help you.  The Canadian Virtual Hospice is just one example of this.

 I came across this quote recently:

 "By letting a person tell their story over and over again, we allow them to process their overwhelming emotions.  Thus they are able to make the unthinkable into the thinkable."


 My reflections:


When the unthinkable happens, when a loved one dies,

we are overcome with the internal turmoil that is GRIEF. 

We move on to BEREAVEMENT

where we receive comfort from people who care for us.

                                      At last, we begin our JOURNEY OF HEALING.

Our path to our future has begun.

The beauty of embracing our Journey of Healing,

is that it shows us a way to move forward.

In moving forward we don’t remain stuck in one place.

                                                                                                                               –- eKim

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