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Death of a Dear Friend

Started by luise.volta, May 16, 2009, 01:19:25 PM

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May 16, 2009, 01:19:25 PM Last Edit: May 17, 2009, 07:37:51 PM by Forum Moderator
Hi Everyone, I'm writing today regarding my best friend's death on Thursday of this week. We've been close for over 45 years. She had inoperable, ovarian cancer and for the last 20 months, I have called her long distance every night so she could talk about whatever she wanted to. She had no family. She went into hospice two weeks ago tomorrow and when I went to see her a week ago today she was in a coma. None-the-less, when I sang to her...she open her eyes, focused them on me and raised her arm to offer one last hug. It was amazing.

What's going on with me is my compartmentalization. I knew she was leaving and I prayed for her release, so intellectually...I'm fine. And we both have belief systems that allow for a future reunion, so I'm fine...spiritually. However, emotionally, I'm a real mess. This happens every time I have to face the death of someone close, even a pet. They "disappear" and my world has a hole in it and I grieve so deeply I think I won't survive it. I think it is probably as "normal as blueberry pie" but that doesn't help very much. Luise
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama


May 16, 2009, 07:18:32 PM #1 Last Edit: May 17, 2009, 07:38:09 PM by Forum Moderator
Oh Luise,
I know you're feeling what you're feeling because I've been there too. I told about it in one of the other posts. It takes a long time to ever find your way again. You will, though.  There are other people, not like her but others for sure, who will come into your life and fill the spot where she left. I went from person to person before I found the one who was like her and the spot she filled in my life. She's been in a vegetative state for 10 years.

She was my like a Mother, Sister, Best Friend, everything a person could be to me.  What I want for her now is to be at peace and she isn't. How we prayed for her to live!!!  Our prayers were answered but to live was not good for her.  I wish now we had prayed for the best for her!

This is so hard and I know it.  Blessings Luise and you go through this. Hard, hard to do.  Soul mates are not around every corner but someone else is in the waiting room.


May 16, 2009, 09:08:13 PM #2 Last Edit: May 17, 2009, 07:38:22 PM by Forum Moderator
Thank you. P. My friend was ill and old (87) and ready to go. I thought I was ready, too, for her to leave. How strange the emptiness feels, even so. And you are so right about Soul-friends. Death is normal, it's the other side of the coin of life. And still I grieve. No matter how many times we go through this...it is always new and fresh and so hard. I can't imagine what it has been like for you and your friend. Ten years! I just can't begin to fathom it.
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama


May 17, 2009, 05:51:20 AM #3 Last Edit: May 17, 2009, 07:38:35 PM by Forum Moderator
I was there for her every day during the first few years.  Then, it became a choice between her or me.  I have so much guilt over this!! I chose me!  I would come home so depressed and whipped physically.  She needed me and I quit the daily times with her and only went 2 times a week.

It nearly killed me to do this to her. I couldn't help it...now, she's even more shriveled up and so many times I blame myself, even though she has caregivers round the clock. I hope that in her heart she knows I was there for 5 years every day!!! Please God!

Once a week now is all I can do.  It's so hard to go and see this once vivacious, beautiful lady like she is!!


Well, P., from my point of view you did the right thing and probably should have done it sooner. My husband and I live in a retirement center. It is large, old (built in 1967) and covers a mobile home park, independent living apartments, a large number of HUD units, a boarding unit, assisted care and a 81 bed nursing home. There is a restaurant and a grocery store, hiking trails and views of Puget Sound. It is nonprofit.

What I have seen here over the last 9 years that relates to your post is people trying to be there for family members or spouses to their own detriment. You had to take care of yourself. We all have limitations To serve others and be true to ourselves, we need to know what they are so we can continue to thrive and give, support and love.

I have no idea how many times I have seen, here on our campus, over and over and over again...the care giver burn out and actually die while the disabled person lived on.  We have classes here teaching people not to do that. Each life is precious, none more precious than the other.

My heart goes out to you. What a loving friend you are.

I had to choose, when my friend of 45 years was dying, what I could give and what was beyond me. I saw being the care giver of my 97 year-old husband as my primary
focus and committed to calling my friend (who lived 50 miles away) every night for as long as she lived. That was as far as I could stretch myself and still stay operational.

You did beautifully and you still are there for her. Celebrate yourself and your deep and abiding compassion.

Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama