Thursday, August 29, 2013

Of Roses and Carnations: A Friend Went Home


    I have a friend whose birthday was earlier this month.  I spent her birthday with her and we had a great visit.  I took her a big batch of birthday flowers in the colors I knew she would like. I arranged them as she told me which flower faces should be in the front.  We reminisced about a number of things, and when I could see she was getting tired, I departed.  I remember asking her if there was anything she needed, and she asked for a large type Bible.   I asked if she needed me to get it that day, and since I visit each month, she said "no".  "Just get one and bring it next time you come". She was well and happy. I see now that this was important.  My friend had fought organized religion for a long time, and now was more interested in God's word, and in studying it. It is true that most atheists don't die as atheists.
                      Despite the fact that I had arranged for someone to call me if anything ever happened to my friend, no one did.   I got up this morning to find that my friend had died suddenly this week. I am stunned.   Normally, I have a strange sense when this is the last time that I am going to see a person.  Perhaps it's from so many years of having been a registered nurse.  Perhaps it's only pattern recognition.  Of course, I don't have this 100% of the time.  I felt nothing during our visit but the joy of seeing a friend for her birthday.  All I felt was understanding and relaxation, and I got as much, if not more, from our visit, as she did.  Part of me wants to cry in that I won't be able to visit my friend each month, and that her unconditional acceptance and encouragement is gone for me.   On the other hand, I want to smile that her passing was smooth and I am told easy, and I know she deserved a safe and comfortable passing.  Just for today, I am going to cry. I am going to miss her, and then I hope I will begin to see things as they really are.  She spent a life well lived here and stayed serene and graceful with a fair measure of herself intact despite a nasty and serious illness. I am proud of my eldest son who spent a great deal of time with her in these last few years, and I am pleased that I took the time to know her.
                      Make sure that you touch base with your friends, relatives, and those who mean much to you. We all pass, sometimes quickly and quietly.   I will miss you, my friend.


  1. oh Jane. i am so sorry. it hurts when this happens and there are no words that anyone can say. i am glad that your friend passed quickly, and quietly. and i am glad that you had the opportunity to learn from her, spend time with her, and provide her with your friendship...something not to be taken lightly. i will say extra special prayers for you and ask that the heaviness you feel in your heart pass, and pass soon. we know somewhat about where your friend is. i am sure Daniel will greet her lovingly.

    your friend,


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