My grieving friend

I went to see my friend today, all 100 lbs of her, hunched over, hair white (“‘my hair’s gotten all white,” she said, apologetically, but that’s been true since I’ve known her.)
My friend’s son died over the weekend.
My friend became a friend through my mother. They’re two peas in a pod: independent, free-spirited, unconventional, smart.
She showed me around her apartment. Paintings and drawings her son had done through the years. Old photographs. Vintage furniture on display, such as her dad’s baby chair.
Her walker is slow, which is to say she is slow. She had a hardback book of poetry resting on one of the bars like a rag doll. She recited lines from it. Robert Frost’s “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening” was one.
My friend’s life centered around her son. She’s unsure how to go on, but she believes she has to try.
Her residence has had a recent touch-up, with fresh wallpaper and art prints. Nature scenes.
When it comes time to say goodbye, we hug.
Her bones stick out from her back.


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