Five years ago today, I lost a mentor and friend of mine to cancer.
It was a hard loss. She was young, and so was I.
A lot went down when she passed, and I think that made things extra hard. I was grieving a lot more than just her, but some innocence too.
It was right around the time that she passed that the Bipolar was roaring its head in my working life and it was causing, as the Sanford sisters would say, “a muck, a muck , a muck!”
My heart was being ripped out. I was watching my friend die and there was nothing that I could do. I was attempting to move on and stay busy and it left me spiraling out of control. As I was spinning, I was grabbing for whatever I could get my hands on like a person that is drowning and pawing at whatever they can manage to grab to stay afloat. It was dirty and ugly and there were tears.
At this juncture, every year for going on the last five years, I have completed a memorial hike in her honor. I have cried, I have sobbed, and I have laid down in the dirt just to be closer to her. And then I have gone home, and I have had a glass of wine.
But I don’t know about this year. I am battling depression and it is taking all of me to make it to work. To walk down the hall to the bathroom to pee, let alone hike up a side of a mountain to lay a calla lily in her honor at the base of the same tree that I have done for the previous four years. It just seems like too much. I did not have the energy to wash my hair this morning, so to think of strapping on my water pack, and lacing up my hiking boots, and walking straight up a mountain makes me want to cry.
But, it’s for G. It’s what I do. I cannot allow myself to make excuses. It’s one day. One hike. One mile. On one day, the first of October. So it may take me two hours to do it, where it normally takes me 45 minutes, but it’s for her and I can’t not do it. That would be totally giving in to the depression, right? Will I sit at home, beating myself up for where I should be and what I should be doing?
Do I suit up and be Bootstrap Belle and just do it because that’s just what I do?
Will I be better for it in the end after having done the hike even though it may be the hardest thing I have done, save last week was quite challenging in itself, so what say make this week a little challenging as well?
In the end, does this memorial hike really benefit her, or does it benefit me? Is it healing to me, does it piece together my broken heart, does it give me a chance to forgive myself for all that happened and give me a chance to say goodbye one more time and remember all she taught me and maybe, just maybe, today of all days, I need to be reminded, that I am not ordinary.