A few years ago - shortly before my daughter was born - a friend of mine told me that she had cancer.
When I say “a friend of mine,” I mean someone I cared about; someone I had special, beautiful memories with. Someone who I thought was smart, and interesting. Someone who’d just had a baby a couple of months earlier, making her diagnosis worse than the worst thing imaginable.
But by then, we weren’t especially tied into each others’ lives. In the old days we’d mostly been casual, going-out-type friends, and in the years since we’d grown up and out of bars and parties and late nights in the company of dartboards, and we’d emailed only occasionally. When the dust settled it turned out we didn't really have much in common at all, and we lost touch. I didn’t even know what she did for a living, or her partner’s name.