I was told, "Her heart gave out."

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I think it was probably Covid. She took care of her husband who has multiple medical issues, who couldn't keep a job, who got drunk during the day while she was at work, who had to be nagged to do the laundry, who basically could not function in life. They had both been addicts so I guess there was a stronger bond between them than what I could understand.

When my boss called me, I figured it was my friend's husband who died, but it was my friend.

She wanted to retire, to take classes in marine biology, to tag sharks.

When I heard that my friend died, I had the immediate thought that, "I'm next."

Her death has altered my perspective. I see everything in terms of death. I make decisions assuming that I will be dead soon. I have written a will, purchased extra life insurance.

I see what remains of her at my job, mostly her writing on index cards but nothing personal. I'd give anything for a left behind Chapstick, a phone charger, a lone peppermint candy from the cache she used to keep.

I don't have any tattoos, but I am thinking of getting a shark tattoo with her initial worked into the design.