How do you say goodbye to someone who is dying?

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As someone who loves words and has no trouble putting my thoughts into sentences, I am at a loss for what to say. If you read this post a couple of weeks ago, you will know I received the difficult news that a group of ladies who annually visited the lodge will visit no more. In three short months, one has progressed rapidly into Alzheimer’s disease and the other was diagnosed with terminal liver cancer and is being cared for in her home to make her as comfortable as possible in the last few weeks of her life.

How do I say goodbye? I know, in essence, what I want to say but the words won’t come, perhaps because saying goodbye sounds so final. She is not gone, but saying goodbye makes it feel like I have accepted her fate and I have not yet come to terms with her diagnosis and quick deterioration.

I want to tell her how unfair it is she didn’t have a chance to fight, because I know she would have fought like a warrior, but I know she already knows that. The words I send to her will be words of appreciation for the short time I was able to spend getting to know her. My words to her will be warm and heartfelt. But the time I spend writing them will be heart-wrenching and leave me feeling slightly eviscerated.

I didn’t know her for very long but her absence will be felt on May 28th when the room they shared at the lodge remains empty. I will miss you, Barb, and I hope we see each other again on the other side.

 

 

I will not shed a tear

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Dear Stress,

This is the most difficult letter I have ever written.  You have been such a big part of my life and we have shared many moments together.  Through all of the ups and downs you have always been there, waiting to participate in every aspect of my life.

I can’t recall the moment when we first met, or how we developed such a close bond over the years, but throughout every waking moment of my day I always knew you were willing to put in the effort to be by my side.  We became so close that I truly depended on the fact that you would be there with me, shadowing every moment of my day.

Your fastidious nature made it possible for you to delve into every nuance of my life.  It enabled you to invade the inner sanctum of my being and hold fast to the things you knew I held so dear.

It is with a heavy heart that I have to write you this letter.  Living with you has worn me down to a shadow of my former self. During our tumultuous relationship, I have lost a part of myself along the way and I gave you the power to feel superior.  I made you feel like you had won.

I am writing this letter to tell you that I have found something to replace you.  During the journey that you and I have traversed together, I realized that I had feelings for tranquillity. It soothes me in a way that you never could.  It takes the time to understand my feelings but spends more time making me feel relaxed and more like myself.

I wish you the best in your continued journey but I have no place for you in my life.  Our relationship will always be a learning experience for me, but I deserve better.  Good luck in your future relationships with unsuspecting people.

Sincerely,

Susan

~~

This was actually my first post on this blog site, but it seems much more appropriate now!

Letting go – Trifextra Challenge.

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On now to our quick Trifextra challenge.

In The Scorpio Races,
author Maggie Stiefvater writes, “It is the first day of November and so, today, someone will die.”  Give us the next thirty-three words of this story, as you imagine it.  Take it wherever you like, but make it original and make it 33 words exactly.

~

The words echoed as she hovered near him, her warm hand on top of his chilled skin.  He would never come out of the coma.  The monitor flat-lined and he was at peace.

The opposite of hello

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goodbye

“How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.” ~ A.A. Milne

~

I write this post through swollen eyes and saturated shirt sleeves.  Tonight while watching a scripted episode of a television show I witnessed a group of friends bid farewell to, not only a fellow cast member but, a confidant, a lover and a friend.  And although it was scripted, it was a heart-wrenching hour that brought any of the goodbyes I have ever experienced bubbling to the surface of my emotions because it was a genuine farewell to a person who will no longer be in their day-to-day realities.  The poignant words of the writing team were presented with a deep honesty because the melancholy was sincere and the pain was palpable.

Anyone who has lost someone can relate to the despair I am currently feeling.  Memories of the anguish I felt in the moments of my own losses came flooding back and I envisioned the struggle I endured to force myself to change the definition of those bonds.  I cried for their pain and I cried for my own pain.  The most difficult part of saying goodbye is knowing that you had something remarkable in your life and it was taken away before you were ready to part ways.

Living through a loss is inevitable.  We can never fully prepare ourselves for the roller coaster of emotion that follows that loss. Death is hardest on those left here to endure the sadness.  It is a closed door that can never be opened again but I hold strong to the faith that what lies beyond that closed door is filled with happy memories and moments that can be cherished by watching the movie of the life they lived.  

The bonds we have with those who have left us still remain.  The parameters of that relationship may have been vastly altered but the connections we have still exist.  We have memories to cherish and, in time, reminiscing will make that goodbye a little less painful and allow the happy memories to outweigh the grief.