My writer friend died over the weekend. As I said, I wasn't that close to her for various reasons, but I feel a real loss. Turns out her devestating illness affected her brain too. So some of her nasty comments and sad behavior were caused by that. The stuff from years ago, of course, wasn't from the illness, yet I'm so sad that she didn't share any of her recent journey with us. She kept her pain private. Many of us became judgmental about her attitude and behavior, attributing some of it to drink, and some of it to just ill-temper. I feel crappy about that. If I'd known even a smidgeon of the truth, I would have withheld judgment--I know me. But in death, Pam taught me a valuable lesson. We don't know anyone's journey, unless they share it with us. My judgment of her was wrong. I was wrong.
But I know that if such a thing were to happen to me, not only would my friends know about it, so would complete strangers. I'd make a habit of posting as long as I could in my blog. I would want to make sure I said what I needed to people, and give them a chance to say their truths to me. No secrets. Is that any better than the way Pam chose to handle her illness? Of course it isn't. It's just different.
Guess I'm blaming Pam for not telling me and saving me from feeling so guilty. What a selfish, selfish woman I can be.