Last night at 8:42 pm EST, my best, oldest friend died. This year’s Meredithmas will be tough, coming less than a month after her passing. She’d been through so much, with lots of health issues, but this was not expected in the slightest. Even when I learned that she had been hospitalized earlier this week and I feared the worst, I was still pretty confident she would pull through, because she never took any bullshit lying down.
When I was 13 we moved to Fairfax and I started a new school for 8th grade. Meredith was in the accelerated program, of course, because she was a super smarty pants, but we had homeroom together and that’s how we met and became friends. We went to different high schools, but kept in touch, attending each other’s homecomings some years. We spent 3 hours on the phone once, watching the Miss America pageant together from across town. She came on my family beach trip the year the first X-Files movie came out, and we spent hours holed up in the emptier house having private dance parties to the movie soundtrack and then totally pretending we weren’t shaking our butts when anyone came in to get something for the other house. We didn’t talk frequently, but every time we did, or got together, it was like no time at all had passed between contact. We both wanted to be a rock for the other, but worried about leaning on each other too much (and then laughed when we talked about it and promised to always tell the other first when something was wrong.) She was the first person I would reach out to when my depression got overwhelming. She was the person to whom I could talk about anything, bowel movements and fashion, X-Files and pretty girls, boy trouble and joys. She is my sister in spirit. She was always going to be my maid of honor if/when I got married. I fucking hate that she’s gone, but I’m so very thrilled that she no longer has to deal with RA, or fibro, or any other of the ailments that tried, and failed, to take her down. As for the final illness, it may have won against her body, but I know my Merbear was expecting one hell of a party in the afterlife and she’s shaking dat ass with Gi. Before this, she was a school librarian, changing the lives of NY children, a volunteer for the Anti-Violence Project, a vocal activist for LGBTQIA rights, and the best friend a girl could have.
1981-2015. Meredith is preceded by her father and her friend Gianny and survived by her husband, her mother, and her many friends. I don’t know how to live without her, but I’m gonna have to try because she’d be so pissed if I didn’t.