About three weeks ago I lost a former professor (who became a dear friend and mentor of mine) to cancer and heart failure. She had been diagnosed with the cancer a little over six months before she passed and had pacemaker surgery about seven to eight months before her passing. She had breast cancer fifteen years ago and it had come back and spread to her stomach/abdomen. We connected on Facebook after I finished her class and as we began talking, a friendship and companionship formed. At first we talked a lot about university and classes, but as the months passed, we became more comfortable talking about our personal lives and families. We discovered that we both had conflict in our families and were passionate about sociology, among other common things. I found I was able to confide in her and she gave me a lot of insight about life in general with her experiences in life, both good and bad. She really opened my eyes to life and made me see it in a way I had never seen before. She was very honest with her experiences, and never once tried to make it seem like her life was perfect, as we felt lots of people whom we both came across in life tried to do. I was devastated when she told me of her cancer diagnosis. I cried many times. She was one of the strongest people I had ever met and to hear over the next few months how greatly she was suffering, I knew the day would come when she would no longer be here. Nothing could prepare me for the emptiness that I feel in my heart. The last few months of her life, I kept her company by messaging with her everyday. We always told each other good morning and goodnight, and I often told her that I loved her (I thought of her as an aunt or grandmother). Last month, she had planned to look into assisted suicide as the pain was becoming too difficult to bear, but she passed away the day before the tests were to take place. For the most part, I am glad that she got to pass on her own. I sometimes wonder what it would have been like if I had gotten to say goodbye. After much pondering, I felt that it was best that I did not get the chance. To know the day of the procedure, to try to put into words all you want to say is very difficult to imagine doing. And in the case of my friend, logging off Facebook for that last time, leaving her house and dog, and having her family watch during the procedure would have been extremely hard. I miss her dearly and sometimes wish that she was still here, but I know that if she were, she would be in pain and suffering. I feel guilty sometimes for thinking that. She had asked for me to speak at her celebration of life, and I did. I met lots of her family and friends at that beautiful service. Her sister gave me a package of some stuff she wanted me to have, including a beautiful handwritten card. In it, she expressed how she wished she had been able to give the stuff to me in person as well as some words of encouragement for continuing on my path of personal growth as a young adult. I sometimes reread the card over many times. I try to imagine the sound of her voice while doing so. I sometimes feel my friend with me, both nearby and in my heart. It is such a wonderful feeling to feel. I still say good morning and goodnight to her, and I usually talk to her before I go to bed. I sometimes wonder if she can hear me. Before she passed, she said to continue talking to her after she was gone, just in case she could hear me. I like the idea that we are still able to carry on a connection in this way, even though she is doing more of the listening. She has appeared in one of my dreams so far, and just the other day I could have sworn I heard whispering in my ear as I was waking up that morning. I thought that perhaps it was her. I very much miss talking to her each day. She used to be just a message away, but now she is gone until I see her again. There are times when I wonder how I will be able to carry on and continue on in life without her here, and then there are times when I know that I can somehow do it. If you have gotten this far, I thank you. I appreciate any advice or words of wisdom that have helped you during your difficult time/times. Please feel free to share your story as well. It feels good to get this all out and off my chest. My parents have been supportive, but they can only do so much as I feel they do not fully understand how I feel. I have told a few of my friends as well but I feel they do not understand either. I hope that being a part of this online grief forum will help me. Thank you.