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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2 Responses to Saying Goodbye

  1. Karen says:

    My condolences to you. Your description of the bees gave me goosebumps.
    This was so beautifully written.
    I find myself planting more and more shrubs in memory of lost loved ones. My yard will be one big garden some day.

  2. carol says:

    Today’s entry brought to mind the line from Robert Anderson’s wonderful play, “I Never Sang for My Father” which says that while death ends a life, it does not end a relationship. My condolences to you.