We lost a good friend yesterday. It hurts to lose someone… especially when that someone is a truly warm, wonderful person like this. Irreverent yet unfailingly kind. Someone you’ve known and loved and laughed with for many years. Someone who lived as a sort of quiet example for the rest of us.
And when the loss is sudden, unexpected — you’re reminded of just how fast things can (and do) change. Just how fragile life really is. Not the most comforting of thoughts, are they?
Nor is the finality of it all. Yesterday she was here, today she’s gone. Leaving all of us with a sadness… a sense of loss that is overwhelming, blotting out routine, more important than any deadline. We’re stunned, uprooted, floundering… thinking (longing really) for the past… for the days of laughter and the sense of knowing she was there… a phone call away. It seems harder somehow to remember her voice, her wonderful, infectious laugh, the reassurance she so readily gave.
Wishing… always wishing for more time.
You can’t help thinking about the manner of her passing. Was she afraid? Did she see the end coming? Was there pain? Today I look with newly grateful eyes on doctors and nurses and medics who are with so many patients at the end. How important they are. We cannot pay these people enough. Once you’ve lost someone it matters more than anything to know that if a loved one could not be there, there was a hand to hold, a face to see, a voice… some human touch keeping company at the end of life.
Losing a fine person from your life often brings anger — why such good people have to go… too soon. Always too soon. Of course it’s never fair, there never seems to be a reason. At least not any reason we understand, or care about. We tell ourselves the friend we’ve lost is now in a better place than this. Rewarded a hundred times over for every kindness, readily forgiven any sin and shown the favor and regard she earned from a life well lived. By being here, with us, this friend changed things, made them better and it matters a great deal that she know this now, wherever she may be.
Remembering is all we can do, but it is not without power. It brings a piece of the one we lost back to us — we feel them near once more. Just like always. Act in their memory and you honor them anew. Don’t forget the stories or the traditions. Keep them close in any way and every way you can. And take what comfort you can from the fact that you got a chance to know them… to love them… and yes, even to mourn them.