Last night, I spent several hours at B's house helping her pack things up for the big move. Several of us gals were there to help, but I found it hard to engage with anyone. It felt weird - to pack up someone else's dishes, someone else's home - and not just someone else. A very important and a very loved someone else that it just hurts really, really bad to say goodbye to.
I cried when I put bubble wrap over a picture of her and her husband because that felt hardest of all. And even though it felt painful, I wouldn't have wanted to be in any other place doing any other thing last night. Even though it was hard, it was good to be there too. All of it feels messy, but I wanted to be in this messy place with her. Maybe when you really love someone, messy places feel less messy just because you have someone to share in it with you.
I worked until my body felt sore and then I was grateful to feel the physical pain, because it almost felt like relief for my heart to feel something else, even for a moment.
The night went late but much was accomplished. It felt sad to walk out of her home - a place where we've shared slices of pizza and cups of coffee and tears and screaming boys while trying to have real conversations. The walls are now bare and where toys took up space, there are boxes and packing paper. Cupboards are empty and the garage is full of all of our labor ready for a moving truck to haul to a whole new state.
As painful as it's been, I've fought to let myself feel here. To feel the pain of her going and what it means. It's hard, and yet it's felt good and beautiful to share such closeness before she goes too. It's been worth the fight to remain alive so that I could feel everything my heart needs to feel. I guess I've experienced a lot of loss in my life and I didn't want this loss to be one that I numbed out to. It feels too important and I love her too much to not feel it all. And maybe, just maybe, I'm learning what it actually looks like to push into loss and the feelings that come with it. She also happens to be the kind of friend that lets me have my tears and doesn't shut them down. Even if they are about bubble wrapping framed pictures of her smiling face.
I didn't take any pictures last night. Partly because it just didn't feel right and partly because I didn't feel like I would need a picture to remember where my heart was either. Sometimes, the most memorable memories don't ever need to be captured with a camera.
Even though last night was laced with pain, it was also graced with beauty, friendship and sincere love. And I will remember all of it for always.