Liz is leaving us soon. Love and her family and a steady stream of so many friends surround her. Music is filling her room. She is snug in the comfort of her own bed surrounded by the things she loved. Loving people are caring of her beloved cats. This is the best way for her to go. If there ever was death with dignity, Liz is a very dignified person.
I have known my friend Liz for about 14 years. She is about 5 feet of determination, opinion, love, and feistiness. For years, Liz keep telling me that my face was too pretty to have bangs down in front of my eyes. Every time she saw me, “Your face is so pretty, stop covering it up!” It was SO annoying but eventually she wore me down and I do not wear bangs anymore. We often talked about music and theater. She took me to several Mercury games. She is a woman I respected because she did not take any grief from anyone. She came to my bridal shower just thrilled I was marrying my best friend. Moreover, she always gave me an honest opinion whether I wanted it or not. That is Liz.
Last year I did a photo essay for a photography class I was taking. I wanted to capture women not smiling in one photo and not smiling in another. I knew I wanted to capture Liz. When I was composing the piece, I thought of her in movement because she was always moving. I also wanted her to be blurry. The first photos in the piece were of a young girl. Her photos crisp and clear. Liz’s photos are blurry and out of focus. Time for us when we are young is crisp and bright; time when we are older is less clear and blurring faster and faster. Below are my photos of Liz. I asked her to be serious and not make any faces. She tried but could not quite do it. Even her serious one has a glint of mischief in it. That is Liz.
I gave copies to Liz’s family yesterday. It made me feel comfort knowing I was able to give them some comfort too. My art will help them in their time of grief. I know the pain and sheer beauty of what they are going through. Being with your loved one as they leave this world is both the most terrifying and the most beautiful thing.
My world will be a little less bright without my fiery, small friend. I will surely grieve her absence for many years to come. I am so thankful that I got to see her one more time, tell her I love her, kiss her head, and wish her an amazing journey to what lies beyond. I am happy I decided to go.