My neighbor died. She died alone in her house and all the while I was calling her to invite her to dinner and dessert. She didn't answer the phone, but that wasn't unusual. She always called me back after checking caller ID. I was concerned but didn't walk across the yard. It wasn't unusual for her to not answer the door either.
I have been physically ill since she left. I water our tomatoes and squash daily ~ the ones she helped me plant in my garden. I keep waiting for her to call me back with "Well hello little girl." That hasn't happened. I cry a little every day. We shared pizza and pasta, cake and cookies, and the most delicious food ever when she just felt like cooking and sharing.
I miss her terribly. One day I will open a drawer and I will find the little things she was always bringing me for my craft/quilt closet. I will cry again.
This has hit me harder than I ever expected. I expected this day to come, but I thought it would be after a longer life than her 71 years. I never expected it to come to this. And I never expected to react like this. My heart feels as if a heavy burden is on my chest and won't move.
There is no memorial service for her that I am aware of. There is no marker for a grave.
But I have the promise that I will see her again. And while I am grieving, I am grateful for what I had in her friendship. She was the one that encouraged Rich and me on his darkest days. She always told me that I needed to be lazy :) and that a day off was good for me. She told me that I worry about her more than she worries about herself. She told me I was good to her and that she had never had anyone to care so much about her. What she did not realize is how good she was for me. I miss her terribly.