Grief Lives in The Bones

Grief Lives in The Bones

Grief lives in the bones. That’s what I know to be true almost twelve years after my best friend in high school passed away after a short battle with meningitis. Sometimes it still aches when I see anything reminiscent of the pain I felt that day whether on the big screen or in the news. It aches when I think of how one morning she told me she didn’t feel well and a few days later a friend of her family was knocking on my door telling me that Dena was gone.

See, I was at the dentist and she was dying. It was February 12th, 2007. The ailment she complained about that morning when my father drove us to school was the fast moving, extremely deadly bacterial meningitis. According to an article from the Cleveland Clinic, it’s an infection of the membranes surrounding the brain and spinal cord and can be caused by a bacterial, viral, or fungal infection.

After Dena mentioned not feeling well in the morning, I searched for her after school as we would normally go home or head to our retail job at a mall clothing store on the outskirts of the city. She left early. The next day, I was trying to get in touch with her to go to school and figured she might be at her dad’s house which happened from time to time. By the third day, my doorbell rang.

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Making Friends After Thirty

Making Friends After Thirty

“You’re only as strong as the people you spend the most time with,” or so the adage goes and for many black women that includes a strong group of friends. Many of us watched as Joan, Maya, Lynn and Toni supported each other through breakups, career challenges, and general craziness in the hit show “Girlfriends” which debuted in the year 2000. It mirrored our own circles or those we aspired to have. The imperfections, the fights, the moments of reconciliation. But the older I get, the less those rifts seem to come back around and friend groups feel like a memory of the past as my circle gets smaller and smaller.   

My best friend and I were once a trifecta. It’s easy to forget now because it’s been so long since our third seemed to drift off and away. We all worked at the same retail store and quickly formed a bond based on proximity and an odd racial divide in the store between the black co-workers and the puerto rican co-workers. We had to stick together, look out for one another and in the midst found we had a lot in common. 

It started slow. We would get lunch together sometimes or go on an occasional shopping trip after work and it morphed into a true friendship. We knew each other’s families, we saw relationships bloom and some fall apart. We celebrated birthdays, which oddly enough became the point of our demise. 

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