Thank you, strangers. October 4, 2018 4:42 PM   Subscribe

My friend with ovarian cancer? She died.

Almost five and a half years ago, I posted my first question about my best friend having ovarian cancer. You helped me with that. And then over those years, I asked how to be a supportive friend, how to make her laugh, how to find the objectively best doctor, how to talk to my kid about cancer (when he was younger), how to talk to my kid about death (now that he's an older teen), how to help her die, how to find the best cremation services, how to write an obituary. I asked a few more anon questions on even touchier subjects. And through it all you helped me. You helped me more than you'll ever know, particularly because the hardest questions, at a moment when I had no resilience, were about finding cremation services and writing the obit. You helped me solve pressing problems when I had no capacity for solving them myself.

I am so grateful for all of it. My friend was very private, and there were many aspects of this that I could not discuss with real-life friends. I could always find help here, in my own threads or those of others. Thank you, strangers.
posted by BlahLaLa to MetaFilter-Related at 4:42 PM (66 comments total) 56 users marked this as a favorite

I'm very sorry about your friend; I'm glad MetaFilter folks were able to help along the way.
posted by cortex (staff) at 4:43 PM on October 4 [9 favorites]

I am so, so sorry.
Many hugs if you want them. Please be kind to yourself.
posted by bookmammal at 4:50 PM on October 4 [1 favorite]

It’s good you could help her and it’s good that MeFites helped you: “Comfort in, dump out” in action.

I am sure she was grateful that you were in her life.

Take care of yourself these days; keep coming back to us if you need anything.
posted by wenestvedt at 4:54 PM on October 4 [2 favorites]

We grieve with you. You're in my heart. May your friend's name be a blessing.
posted by Kangaroo at 5:26 PM on October 4 [13 favorites]

I’m very sorry for your loss. She was very lucky to have such a caring friend.
posted by bondcliff at 5:40 PM on October 4 [1 favorite]


I am very sorry for your loss.
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 5:57 PM on October 4

I am so sorry.
posted by some chick at 7:09 PM on October 4

I'm so sorry for your loss. I'm glad you find a little dot of light here.
posted by chasles at 7:45 PM on October 4

Love to you and everyone her life touched. It was obvious how much you cared about her, and I don't doubt she knew it.
posted by Lyn Never at 7:51 PM on October 4 [4 favorites]

I'm so sorry to hear your sad news. Virtual hugs or whatever virtual gesture you're comfortable with to you and your kid. We should all be so lucky to have a friend like you at the end.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 8:15 PM on October 4 [3 favorites]

My sincerest condolences.
posted by 80 Cats in a Dog Suit at 8:16 PM on October 4

I'm so very sorry. Your care and love for your friend shines through in your words, I'm glad she had you there for her.
posted by TheFantasticNumberFour at 8:16 PM on October 4

So sorry for your loss. You were a good friend.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 8:28 PM on October 4

Hugs and strength to you and her family. May her memory be a blessing.
posted by brujita at 9:02 PM on October 4

i've been following your and her story. i am so glad she had you through all of this. i am sorry for your loss and hope peace comes when it can.
posted by I'm Not Even Supposed To Be Here Today! at 9:12 PM on October 4 [1 favorite]

The best words I can offer right now are, it sounds like you were an amazing friend to her when she needed as many amazing friends as possible. I thank you for what you did for her. And I hope you find the solace you need during this time.
posted by hippybear at 9:15 PM on October 4 [1 favorite]

I am so sorry. Fuck cancer.
posted by msali at 9:16 PM on October 4 [1 favorite]

I am so sorry about your friend, she was lucky to have you.
posted by ellieBOA at 9:26 PM on October 4 [1 favorite]

So sorry. *hugs* if you want them.
posted by lazuli at 9:28 PM on October 4

You are a very caring friend. I'm glad your friend had you to lean on. Thank you for taking us along on your journey to comprehend and deal with the coming of death. The questions you've asked helped me and I suspect many others as we learned to give support to our friends with cancer and other terminal illnesses. Thank you for asking hard questions and staying with your friend through the end. I'm so sorry for your loss.
posted by a humble nudibranch at 11:27 PM on October 4

I'm so sorry for your loss, BlahLaLa. I remember your questions, and both she and you sound like you were wonderful friends to each other. I hope those memories of friendship will bring you comfort in your grief.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 12:23 AM on October 5

BlahLaLa, thank you for supporting your friend so well, and I'm so sorry. Glad MF was helpful. Look after yourself.
posted by paduasoy at 1:18 AM on October 5

Fuck cancer. I'm so sorry. I hope you are being kind to yourself.

I lost a dear friend and my father to cancer in the last couple of years. It's so fucking hard. Take care of yourself. I'm glad your friend had you at her side.
posted by Ziggy500 at 3:11 AM on October 5

I am genuinely sorry for your loss. As others have said, I have read your AskMe questions along the way and felt your pain and frustration at her impending death, and echo everyone's sentiment that you were a True Friend when she needed it most.
posted by briank at 5:10 AM on October 5

I'm sorry for you loss, and wish you a healing grieving process.
posted by lazaruslong at 5:18 AM on October 5

Sorry for your loss, but I'm so glad the community was able to help make this entire ordeal a bit easier for you and your loved ones.

posted by Fizz at 5:41 AM on October 5

I'm so sorry. I, too, followed her journey through your questions. You're good people, BlahLaLa.
posted by kimberussell at 5:50 AM on October 5

By asking questions here the way that you have, her memory will help other people who are struggling with similar problems in the future. Your challenges will turn into pathways for others, and your friend's life will touch their's and the people they'll be helping. So thank you for your questioning and your vulnerability.
posted by Mizu at 6:24 AM on October 5 [4 favorites]

I appreciate all the kind words. They really do help. I wish I could tell you all about her. She was an amazing person and the best, best friend. Every bit of friendship I gave to her was returned to me tenfold.

Also I haven't decided yet about shaving my head. I have to get through a professional appearance in about a week, so maybe after that. I'm also considering a tattoo, which would be very un-me, but there you go.
posted by BlahLaLa at 6:38 AM on October 5 [14 favorites]

I know a number of people who've gotten tattoos on the one year anniversary of a bereavement. If it's something you're thinking about, but it's un-you, that's one option to consider since a) It will give you time to settle on the perfect design and b) It's entirely likely that what is you and un-you will be changed by this loss, but if you wait then you won't be making a permanent un-you decision in the deepest part of grief. c) It will give you a meaningful way to mark the anniversary for yourself.
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 7:13 AM on October 5 [4 favorites]

I'm so sorry. I've been following her story through your posts too. It's a terrible thing to go through.
posted by something something at 7:26 AM on October 5

You have been a good friend, and this news is awful. I am so sorry for what you've lost.
posted by MonkeyToes at 7:43 AM on October 5 [1 favorite]

I’m so sorry for what you’ve been through these past years. Your bravery and kindness on this journey is something I have noticed with each question. Thank you for continuing to be such a great part of this community and for setting such an example of friendship.
posted by bilabial at 7:54 AM on October 5 [1 favorite]

"Shared pain is lessened; shared joy, increased — thus do we refute entropy."

I'm so sorry for your loss.
posted by hanov3r at 8:09 AM on October 5 [3 favorites]

I am so sorry.
posted by joycehealy at 8:16 AM on October 5

posted by jillithd at 8:26 AM on October 5

I am very sorry to hear of your loss. I'm glad your friend had you in her all-to-short life.
posted by terrapin at 8:27 AM on October 5 [2 favorites]

I'm very sorry for your loss, and I'm glad the Metafilter community has been able to help you through this.

I remember when I was going through the worst time in my life MeFites who'd walked in my shoes were there to help me through it. Others offered comfort and support. Out of that awful experience I've made life-long friends who have turned out to be as awesome in real life as they are on screen. This really is a wonderful community.
posted by essexjan at 9:39 AM on October 5

I'm so sorry to hear this. You're in my thoughts.
posted by holborne at 10:00 AM on October 5

Reading your posts have taught me to be a better, more compassionate friend and family member. Thank you for connecting with us, and teaching me. I am sorry for your loss and will keep you in my thoughts.
posted by lucy.jakobs at 10:52 AM on October 5

I'm so sorry for your loss. I have also lost a close friend to ovarian cancer, and while it gets easier, you're never the same. I am holding space for you, friend.
posted by chesty_a_arthur at 12:14 PM on October 5

I am so sorry to hear of your loss. Fuck cancer, that fucking fuck.
posted by We put our faith in Blast Hardcheese at 12:21 PM on October 5

I'm so sorry. I've typed out several other things and deleted them; they all just boil down to - my heart goes out to you and I hope you will be OK. Maybe not right now, but soon. Hugs.
posted by widdershins at 12:24 PM on October 5

posted by AugustWest at 1:00 PM on October 5

I'm so sorry for your loss.
posted by mixedmetaphors at 1:12 PM on October 5

I'm so sorry.
posted by mogget at 2:33 PM on October 5

If I ever get cancer, I want a friend like you.
posted by 4ster at 2:34 PM on October 5 [1 favorite]

I am so sorry and I am glad MetaFilter was helpful. I've been a member here through the deaths of both my parents (one sudden, one not) and it was so important to have a place where I could just talk and be supported. I am glad the community has been there for you, It will continue to.
posted by jessamyn (retired) at 3:15 PM on October 5 [4 favorites]

I'm so sorry for your loss.
posted by sarcasticah at 3:55 PM on October 5

I'm so sorry.
posted by stellaluna at 4:52 PM on October 5

I'm very sorry to hear this sad news.
posted by purpleclover at 5:13 PM on October 5

Condolences for your loss, but also heartfelt thanks for sharing this journey with us so that we might be better friends should we someday be called upon to serve and support the people we love. Take care.
posted by carmicha at 5:22 PM on October 5 [1 favorite]

posted by limeonaire at 6:20 PM on October 5

I am so sorry. I remember your questions. You are a thoughtful and caring friend. Peace .
posted by pintapicasso at 2:38 AM on October 6

By asking questions you helped us all learn. Some are helping me now, in fact.

Honor your friend with gratitude. She was fortunate to have your support; now you can hold her close each day by embracing joy in every part of your life.

A big strong *hug* for you if you need one. Good-byes are so damned hard.
posted by kinnakeet at 2:56 AM on October 6

I am so very sorry. You and your friend have been in my thoughts, and even moreso as I noticed the questions make a turn towards the end. I am so glad you were able to find a community, and especially this community, to help you through these difficult times.
posted by cgg at 9:44 PM on October 6

This sucks so much. Sending you big-ass virtual hugs. You are in my thoughts. So glad the two of you had each other, so glad MetaFilter was a help.

posted by Bella Donna at 12:06 PM on October 7

You were lucky to have found each other. I’m so sorry. Best wishes to you and your family.
posted by eirias at 1:59 PM on October 7 [1 favorite]

Thank you for sharing your story here BlahLaLa. I'm sorry for your loss, but am glad your friend had a friend like you and that the Metafilter community was here to help you be that friend. Please keep sharing stories of your friend here and with others. ❤️
posted by bendy at 2:36 PM on October 7

I have followed your story and admired what a very good friend you've been to her. I know that if I were in her position, the most I could possibly want would be to have a friend who cared as much as you did. I'm sorry for your loss.
posted by HotToddy at 2:23 PM on October 8

posted by faethverity at 7:43 PM on October 8

I'm very sorry for your loss. It is wonderful that you were able to be such a good friend.
posted by rmd1023 at 4:34 AM on October 9

So sorry for your loss. Your questions helped me think through a few things, they remain such valuable contributions to metafilter. I hope you continue to find joy in remembering your friend.

I am rooting for you to have some catharsis with whichever bodily ornament you choose, eventually, too.
posted by skrozidile at 11:59 AM on October 10

Thank you for asking all of these questions. As we deal with rtha's cancer, I've been going back and reading AskMes on the topic. I'm so sorry for your loss and glad that AskMe was able to help.
posted by gingerbeer at 4:54 PM on October 10 [8 favorites]

(Also I did shave my head today -- with a #3 buzz because we couldn't find the #2. I'm happy I did.)
posted by BlahLaLa at 3:41 PM on October 20 [5 favorites]

Good now it's on to the tattoo then eh?
posted by allkindsoftime at 4:58 PM on October 26

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