I wonder why I haven’t heard from Gerri, I thought the other evening. I last saw my friend about a year ago, when she came East from Chicago to start setting up her new apartment on Central Park South. She’d had a long-time dream to move to New York, and finally started the process, even though she hadn’t yet sold her place in Chicago. She couldn’t wait.
It wasn’t unusual for months to pass without Gerri and I communicating, but both of us had let entirely too much time to fly by, without so much as an email, so I popped out of bed and emailed her. “Hi Gerri,
How are you? Where are you? Thinking of you. Love, Geri”
Then, something told me to Google Gerri’s name, and this is what I read on the 5th entry down:
Nov 26, 2017 – One of my cherished friends, Gerri, died in her sleep last month and though I am deeply saddened, I am grateful for the wake up call. It reaffirmed my commitment to live a full, authentic life and reminded me that she was doing just that. After the death of her husband, David, Gerri sublet an apartment in New…
Needless to say, I was shocked. I tracked down Laura, the woman who wrote the wonderful article about our mutual friend, who told me that Gerri had officially moved to New York last October, and had been here for about three weeks. “That night, she saw a Tony Bennett concert, returned home and went to sleep,” Laura recounted. Then, she died. Just like that.
It’s still hard to grasp that Gerri is gone, especially because she was one of the most alive people I’ve ever met. Vivacious. Insatiably curious. So darn smart. Utterly elegant. And, not a pretentious bone in her tall and willowy body. She looked better in clothes than any runway model I’ve ever seen.
I met Gerri almost nine years ago, when I was researching women to interview across the country for FabOverFifty, a website I was planning to launch for “women of substance” to “share their style.” Gerri was the embodiment of that kind of woman. I was flattered she chose me as a friend. I shall never forget her. I like to think that she’s with David now, the love of her life about whom she was probably dreaming that night last October, completely content in her new New York home.
Goodbye, my friend.