Sunday, August 18, 2013

Saying Goodbye

I had a very dear friend in Indiana who had ALS.  She called to tell me about it…and to say goodbye.  Her failing speech made phone conversations difficult and frustrating for her. We continued to write back and forth.  She loved my notecards and said they made her smile!   She requested no extraordinary measures…she was an ICU Nurse all her life and did not want to live on a vent.   She was at peace and was ready to leave this world where her body failed her but her mind was sharp as a tack.  I told her Bill would be waiting for her..and Abby too…she laughed and said “Won’t that be great!”  No more cards are going to Indiana.  The last card I sent her way was answered by her brother…she died early one morning. She escaped the ALS that overtook her body. Joan was 61 years old. I have known her for 27 years. Her husband Bill died several years ago. 

So when is goodbye final?  When I sent her brother a sympathy card?  When I get to see the date inscribed at Find a Grave?  When I do something special to honor her memory? 

Pollen Overload

I thought these bees were overloaded on pollen.  Then I noticed that the one in the center with the golden butt was not moving.  The others were buzzing around landing and taking off..perhaps it was a bee funeral…or perhaps the bee was almost dead and his/her friends were saying goodbye. There were many other plants to collect pollen from yet they picked this one to buzz around incessantly. They apparently knew something I did not.  

Celebration of Life…that’s what they are calling a service for another friend who died last Sunday.  He prepared his own obituary and had a hand in planning his service.  Mantle cell leukemia sucks. That service is planned for three weeks after his death.  Seems like a long time to wait..but I am sure  Faye wants to give him a great sendoff.

We are getting to the age where there will be more deaths, more celebrations of lives well lived and more letters in the mail with sad news. Many more goodbyes to say:(

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26 comments:

  1. I heard a minister say we always talk about the afterlife......and that perhaps we should call this the before life, as the afterlife is so much longer and better! My sympathies on the loss of your friends.

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  2. My deepest sympathy in the loss of a long time friend.

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  3. It is heartbreaking that your Indiana friend had to deal with such a tragic disease as ALS. Thank goodness she had a good friend like you who never forgot her. Most friends fade away and are never heard from again when a person develops such an illness. You are a genuine and faithful friend Connie. I know you will miss her. My condolences.

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  4. My husband has a friend who is also dying of ALS. He calls and talks to him on the phone once a month, and he said it won't be long before he won't be able to do that any more. I have been thinking this morning about this very thing: life doesn't stand still, and we lose more and more loved ones as the days go by. I'm so sorry to hear about your dear friend, but I am glad she has, as you said, "escaped the ALS that overtook her body." Sending cyber hugs your way.

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  5. Goodbyes are never easy to say, but I think that a goodbye doesn't need to be said because we will always have them in our hearts!

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  6. My deepest condolences. As a hospice volunteer and respite worker, I've tried to help families as best I can. You sound as if you are solid in your journey through mourning, grief and bereavement. Many hugs.

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  7. Someone once said you are still alive as long as someone remembers you. It is hard loosing a friend, but remembering the joy of them helps me. My deepest condolences.

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  8. So sorry but at least you got to say goodbye.

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  9. My condolences on the loss of your friend. At least you got to say goodbye.

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  10. Deepest sympathy to you and to your friend's family. I don't think we ever truly say "good-bye" but rather, "I'll see you later."

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  11. My sympathies...
    We said good-bye to my husband's oldest childhood friend in March. It was a sad hard good-bye as he was too young (55). It's never easy though.
    ~Laura

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  12. Sympathy to you in the loss of your two friends. When they are still living all of us have to carry on as usual. The parting takes place gradually in our mind. A celebration does help.
    Sadly , many of the people we lose are a lot younger that we are.

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  13. Interesting photo capture. Well done. And said.

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  14. I agree that the deaths are getting a bit more difficult because it is now our peer group - - many dying tooooo young.

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  15. Hello, always so hard to say those two words...I do like to plant something in their honor, Blessings Francine.

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  16. You're a good and loyal friend, Connie. And that is a very interesting observation about the bees. So many are dying off these days that we should all gather around and say goodbye. I hope we won't have to!

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  17. I remember you mentioning your friend Joan. I am so sorry. It is hard to wait and watch for a disease to take a person. We are comforting a neighbor who has son that is seriously ill. Being there for them in word and or deed all we can do to give them support and they do appreciate it.

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  18. I saw a bee once that stayed in the same place for hours. The next day it was gone.

    *hugs* ♥

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  19. So sad. Hugs. How nice for her to have come to grips with her frailty and her mortality. You are right about more losses to come - but knowing that doesn't make it easier.

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  20. Oh, I'm so very sorry to hear about your friend. Hugs.

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  21. So sorry about your friend. You were a good one to her. ALS is a horrible disease.
    We were at a Celebration of Life on Tuesday for a man of 64. He had a four year struggle with cancer, and passed on a month ago. Two days before, was the C of L for a slightly younger man who died at the beginning of the month from a brain tumour. That's three husbands of women my age that have died in the last few months. Scary.

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  22. I'm so sorry for the loss of your friend. May the memories of good times and friendship comfort you.

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  23. Proud of your friend for going out her way!
    I much prefer celebration of life. I've already lost some friends, too.
    Someday I hope somebody will think of me and smile.
    We will all follow the same path...with great variety...and be lucky somebody like you misses us when we leave.

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  24. I am sorry, Connie! There really isn't much to say except sorry. You are right, we are 'of an age' now. I thank everyday we are still moving into the next day in health...I also realize that to move forward into the 'next life' in peace is the best way to go. I sure hope I can do that, when the time comes.

    Hugs,
    Linda
    http://coloradofarmlife.wordpress.com
    http://deltacountyhistoricalsociety.wordpress.com

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  25. Saying good-bye stinks loudly. I find I'm never done. Not sure about the whole "closure" thing. I think it applies to really tidy people who are able to put things away, I don't seem to possess that capability. And if things are put away and "closure" has occurred, I manage to rip it open and start all over again. I've not lost anyone from my life that wasn't suffering, the disease always steals them first and sometimes it is the hardest part of all of it.

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  26. Oh, I want to go back to your "Mallards" post. It was so idyllic. But death and disease intrude.
    Do we all wonder what will be our own legacy? I do.
    A good friend's husband has ALS and his time is more and more limited. She will be lost without him, much as I would be without my life mate.
    Good bye is never final. It just gets a little blurred by time.

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Thanks for stopping by! I appreciate your comments! If you have a question I will try to answer it here. Connie