Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Dead, dead, deadski.

My best friend of 14 years died in November. She was hilarious and smart and beautiful and a fantastic writer and it's really hard living without her. It's probably harder for her eight year old daughter who she left behind while she lingered in a coma for 6 months, while we all waited, some with more hope than others, to see if she would finally wake up. But damn it, it's hard for me.

When I think of her being gone, I think, "my Tracey is dead," but when I mention it elsewhere in the world, I change it to, "she passed away," or she "succumbed to her illness" or some other euphemism, not because I need to say it, but because I think people will somehow think I'm a jerk for plainly stating she is no longer alive.

I never hear anyone else using dead in conjunction with the death of a loved one. Does everyone else want to use it, but feel the same as I do? Like they have to make it into a poem to talk about it? Like other people might break, or think you just don't care if you plainly say, "Tracey died"?

Is it the proximity of the death? My previous best friend, Aimee, died 10 years ago, (I might add at this point, I'm a little afraid to claim another best friend as this seems to be a trend), and saying, "My friend died 10 years ago" doesn't feel quite as jarring. Does the fact that Tracey just fell through the veil (to borrow from the imagery of Harry Potter, which we both loved), make it seem that she could be right back if only I don't make it plain to others where she is? Is saying "she's dead" like a lock that keeps her trapped in the next world, where as "she passed away" allows for her to change her mind and pop back in, like she went out to smoke a cigarette with Jesus and changed her mind?

My Tracey is dead. She died because of the weird autoimmune disease we both have (had?) and I miss her every day. I miss her when I watch Seinfeld and when I read Stephen King books, and when I see the previews for the new Harry Potter movie that she'll never see unless a next world actually exists and has the same entertainment offerings as ours. I love her, and I always will, and I hate feeling that I have to compose a poem to lessen the sorrow of her loss for other people every time I want to mention that I had a friend and I don't any more.


  1. saying dead is a little too abrupt for me.. and something I tend to associate with non domesticated animals. Even saying my cat is dead feels harsh and grating.. but yet saying my cat died isn't.

    Language is so fascinating.. and all the baggage that comes with such a small word.

    1. and as soon as I hit submit I thought how harsh of me to not send my condolences on the death of your friend.. so, my condolences.

  2. I think you get to say it however you want to say it...and I am truly very sorry that you have to say it at all.

  3. I wish you didn't have to say she was dead at all. I have never liked 'passed away' and I prefer to use died. I think the gravity of the word dead beautifully expresses how it feels when someone dies. It is hard. It is final. I am so sorry that your Tracey died. It isn't fair but it sure is nice how much you love her.

  4. Thank you for sharing, and yes other people have the same exact feelings. My brother died a little over a year ago...he died, he is dead, he is never coming back, and a part of me is lost without him and thinks that life is so much...well just less...now that he is gone. Don't apologize for what you are feeling or hold back for others. You're allowed to feel. It's about all you can do.

  5. When you're the one grieving, you get to put aside what may or may not offend others. You're sad. And your friend died. It's up to them to worry about saying the right thing now. Truly sorry.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...