Emily M. DeArdo


For Sage

essaysEmily DeArdo1 Comment

I lost a friend yesterday. 

Sage was waiting for a double lung transplant. Like me, she had CF, and like me, she was 34. She had a wonderful husband and three hilarious dogs. We talked almost every day, about Outlander and Pocket Jamie and Mascara brands and even eyelash curlers, and what I should wear on a first date. (And then, helping when the date didn't call back.....) 

She was such a funny person, sometimes sarcastically so, and we had the same sense of humor. She was the only person who really understood CF life, so we could bitch to each other about Stupid Doctor Things. (And stupid other things.....) She loved the color purple. She worked for the U.S. Senate and so we could talk about Crazy Things Constituents Did. She adored scary movies, which terrify me, but she loved them. She would watch them with her nephew. She was a huge Bachelor/ Bachelorette fan. She had fantastically curly hair that she dyed auburn; her niece Lizzie had the same corkscrew curls. I was jealous of her hair.

She would've liked this--purple confetti. 

She would've liked this--purple confetti. 

(And GOSH I hate using the past tense.)  

She lived in Oklahoma and Wisconsin, so we'd never met in person. A mutual friend introduced us over the interwebs, so this is one case where a Facebook friendship became as real as any of my "IRL" ones. 

She was admitted to the hospital last week; her last text message to me told me she was doing a direct admit from the ER. I sent her texts and messages variously; I knew she was in the ICU so I knew she probably wasn't reading her messages, but I hoped Jerry (her husband) would tell her.  I didn't want to bombard her phone with notification noises, but I felt like I needed to let her know I was thinking about her. 

Yesterday I felt this keen desire to send her a message: like, do it NOW, Emily. So I did. I told her that I was thinking about her and I missed her and I loved her. It was a little sappy for me. But you know. I thought she'd know what I meant. 

And then, a few hours later, she died. 

Right before she died, I bought a new eyelash curler. We had talked about this a few weeks ago--which ones were the best. She was a Girly Girl and I knew she'd have opinions. So I bought the one she suggested, and it was purple, to boot. I thought, Sage would love that I just bought this. I wanted to send her a picture of it. 

I wish we would've gotten to meet in person. I wish I'd have met her husband and her Awesome Dogs George, Piper, and Sadie. I wish we could've played Monopoly together. 

Guys, CF sucks. It really does. And so does people dying while they wait for organs. She was such a light. And now she's gone. 

Rest in peace, dear heart. I'll see you when I get there. 

"Grief is the price we pay for love." --Queen Elizabeth II

(A note about this video: Sage and I were connected through music. She was a friend of Emily, who was the twin of one of my best friends, Amilia. Amilia and I were in All-State choir our senior year of high school, and this was one of the pieces on our program. It was written in honor of a young lady who died too soon. So not only is it appropriate for Sage, but it's appropriate because music is how I met Amilia and Emily, and thus, Sage.

It is also one of the most beautiful and most moving pieces of music ever written.)