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The CARD

My friend’s partner died after a long struggle and she left two boys– no, young men.  I have been thinking about her freedom, and these three who remain, all day and I cannot get them out of my mind, heart and prayers.  I asked my partner to bring home a card from the shop with the beautiful artist’s cards so I could take it with me tomorrow.

orchid

What will I write on the card?

To my friend who I have known for 30 years I will say:
From out of depths of worry, care, and support limbo you are now free to grieve.  Do not hesitate to let your exhaustion overtake you. Please allow yourself time to sit down until you have let your sorrow move you back into real time.  Enjoy the remembered laughter and pain and do not let anyone tell you that you must let go on their timeline and not yours.   It will all take time and you will move on, and until that day comes be sure and let your children be children and miss their mom like children are want to do, until they are ready, or you have to be the parent and guide them on their way.  Hug them anyway. Grieve fully and then mourn.   You did your very best and most loving work for these past years – no regrets – promise me.

To her sons I will say:
Every story about your Mother I have ever heard tells me that she loved you fiercely.  That she cooked, painted, and wrote her story for you to know her lessons and her hopes of each of you.  She dreamed and fretted you into fine young men, who could care for themselves and their world.  She taught you the lessons of a loving family from the pain of her abusive beginnings, and she rejoiced in the amazing care you took of her when she was in recovery.  No sons could have done more.  You will make her proud and she will be watching out for you always – Mother’s do that for their children; I am sure of it.  Care for each other with your Mother’s intentions in mind and you will make it through all your pain and sorrow; she is still teaching you even now.

The short story:
At a very young age this woman began to be ill.  It became obvious that this was going to be a big part of her life.  Her partner needed to divorce her because the medical bills would leave the family unable to cope or continue.   Several years ago she had a heart attack and then maybe a stroke.  She recovered only to die and return several times in one day.  She suffered a rare form of leukemia, caused by cleaning products she used at work in a State Facility.  She was put into a coma and given massive doses of chemotherapy; she had a bone marrow transplant.  Her sisters stayed with her and her sons.  One son stayed with her at the hospital miles away, while his mother was recovering, and his dad needed to work to at home to keep the family fed.  She would make wonderful progress and then something else would take her “down” again.   There was hope that she might make it home and good folks rallied for a new furnace system and air filter in a beautifully crafted bedroom.  She visited and now she is gone.  She made a difference in many lives and left a good legacy to carry on.

How does one help someone in to a new life?  How does one say goodbye to a strong and bold Mother?
What do you write on the card?
Maybe just wish her a good journey and promise to take care of those who are left behind?

13 Responses to “The CARD”

  1. Dot Says:

    I’m so sorry you lost your friend. It sounds like her life was full and happy, despite the challenges she faced. The card sounds like part of your effort to be a good friend in return. I’m sure her family will appreciate it very much and be comforted to know that someone else loved their loved one, too.

    Dots last blog post..Akashic Records Reading, Part 2

  2. Betsy Wuebker Says:

    I think you’ve said it beautifully. To your friend who has passed, the message might be have a wonderful trip, looking forward to when we’ll be together again. I’m sure she will be looking after those she left behind as well, so it is something you might share. Bless them all.

    Betsy Wuebkers last blog post..NETBOOKS – LESS IS MORE THESE DAYS

  3. Mark Says:

    You have said it with love and you have done so with eleoquence.
    Keep this quote in mind:

    “The friend who can be silent with us in a moment of despair or confusion, who can stay with us in an hour of grief and bereavement, who can tolerate not knowing… not healing, not curing… that is a friend who cares.”

    Henri Nouwen quotes (Dutch Christian writer 1932 – 1996)

    Marks last blog post..Healing Is An Inside Job

  4. Vered - MomGrind Says:

    Some cultures are so good about embracing death as part of life. I suck at it. It’s something that’s very hard for me to accept.

  5. Patricia Says:

    Dot,
    Thank you for your good thoughts. The person who died is my friend wife and the mother of his children – but they had to get divorced to afford her health care needs.

    Blessings are good Betsy – oh so good.

    Mark,
    I so like reading Henri Nouwen’s words…thank you for reminding me of this one – lovely – good to share with all

    Vered,
    Death as a life lesson is not ready for you yet….you are still celebrating birth….and the yeast of living. I understand how you can burn out on being a divorce lawyer – as it is about the death of a relationship…or about being a soldier as that is also about destructive relationships to life – not really the building up or growing new…
    These lessons will come to you too, but at the right time for you.
    The good news is that it is something you don’t have to do well, or perfectly in our society and culture….

  6. Tony Single Says:

    Loss is not something we get used to, and I don’t believe we ever should. It matters when someone we love has moved on, and the mixed feelings it engenders in us matter too. I thought I’d never smile again when my friend killed himself all those years ago, but I did. I still feel sad when I think of him, and all the crushed hopes and dreams that he took with him, but at least I can still look around and smile with the others who were left behind in the wake of his suicide. There are mercies everywhere I look… if I care to look.

    Thanks for sharing this, Patricia. It’s nice to know that there are still people in this world who understand that grieving is a process, not just something to be knocked over or put aside. :)

    Tony Singles last blog post..I’m Slowing Down… [Trottersville #114]

  7. Robin Says:

    Hi Patricia – it’s such a sad time. It sounds to me like you are very in touch with the right words to say.

    love from Robin

    Robins last blog post..The Journey, With Brandon Bays

  8. Jannie Funster Says:

    How does one help someone in to a new life? How does one say goodbye to a strong and bold Mother?
    What do you write on the card?

    Just as you are planning to Patricia.

    Those paragraphs are about as wise and beautiful as could ever be written or received.

    Thank you for sharing your heart yet again.

    Jannie Funsters last blog post..So there!

  9. Patricia Says:

    Tony,
    It very much is a process and it takes time. Good to remember

    Robin,
    Thank you

    Jannie,
    Thank you for your kinds words

  10. SnaggleTooth Says:

    Bothering to show you care is everything.
    Your words are already great.

    Don’t let the card be all they hear from you.
    Keep calling them just to say hi. Stop in with silly unexpected little gifts. You don’t have to dwell on the life gone while in their company in the future, but focus on their present, n the life they all have now. Help them enjoy bits of the lives they’ve been given.

    SnaggleTooths last blog post..Utter Stuff

  11. Jocelyn of I TAKE OFF THE MASK Says:

    I’m so sorry to hear about your friend. I offer her part of the poem I wrote for those who grieve:

    …without you my beloved,
    i grieve and cry,
    i grope and stumble in the dark,
    i weep with all my soul
    i desire with all my heart
    i let go of all of me that you took away with you
    i keep all of you that is in me,
    and will always remain in me
    wherever i may go
    i wait and pray and hope
    i will look forward to each brand new day
    thankful for all that i’ve had and will always have
    thankful for the sun that shines again
    believing and hanging on
    believing that life will go on
    it can’t help but go on
    it shall go on
    and in so going
    there really is no end
    only mornings and evenings
    and life that never ever ends.

    http://itakeoffthemask.com/poems/poem-of-grieving-loss-of-loved-one/

    Jocelyn of I TAKE OFF THE MASKs last blog post..Money Tips 16

  12. Patricia Says:

    SnaggleTooth,
    Thank you so much for sharing your ideas – I think they are good suggestions and true to keeping the living in this realm.

  13. patricia Says:

    Jocelyn,
    I thank you so much for your poem. My friend has agreed to say something at his partner’s memorial service and so I printed off your poem and ran it over to him today.

    He was very appreciative and it is lovely- good thoughts

    I think it will be hard for him to speak right now…he is so emotional and switching gears from healing to gone has been extremely difficult for him to transition