Friday, April 18, 2014

Mulling Over Mortality

It's been a sad week.  A good friend of mine, Val the Bingo Queen, lost a friend to cancer last Saturday.  It was one of those "thank goodness she can finally rest in peace" deaths, i.e. the run-up to it was spectacularly awful and packed with suffering.  However, at least everyone knew it was coming.  The woman who passed away had a chance to say goodbye to her nearest and dearest.  She also left instructions such that after her passing, her Facebook location changed to "Chillin' with Jesus" and her occupation changed to "Haunting you all".  Nice touch!

So that was all very sobering, but Val was coping.

Then, on Tuesday, I got a phone call from Val.  She was in tears.  And if you knew Val, you'd know how rare that is.  She's the steeliest woman I've ever met.  What happened?  Well, remember the wedding I went to just a few months ago?  The bride, one of Val's closest friends, at only 55 years of age, had very suddenly died of a heart attack.

As if that weren't hard enough to take, the groom asked Val if she could call all of their other friends to give them the news.  Of course she did.  She's used to being the strong one.  But it wasn't easy.

I work with Val, and another woman who is part of that group of friends.  I was called upon this week to do my share of listening and consoling.  It's my honour and privilege to be there to help.  But I must say, it's been a bit grim.

This Sunday I'll be joining Val and her group of friends for Easter lunch at a buffet.  She asked them if they minded if Ken and I were invited, and they all seemed keen to have us there.  It might be a relief to have some people around who aren't so personally affected by this double whammy of losses.  I plan on wearing my most reassuring smile to start off with, and I'm ready to take their lead in terms of the mood of the gathering.  I expect they'll want to tell good-memories stories and joke about the two women getting up to trouble together in Heaven.


Vanessa T said...

Oh no! What sad news! What a good friend you are, Spark, and please tell your friend Val that I send her my deepest condolences and prayers. What a blow it all is, sucker punched like that, poor thing.

I confess though, the friend's FaceBook status made me chuckle.

Take care of you, too, since it sounds like you're going to be putting on some strength, too. Comforting others is a big blessing, but it can be kind of energy zapping too. *hugs* to you, and your friend, and blessings on this Resurrection Sunday.

Warped Mind of Ron said...

Mortality does have a way of sneaking up on you when you least expect it. Sending positive thoughts out for all those feeling the loss of your friends.

Granny Annie said...

If either of them had a beloved pet you can take it along and tell everyone you are going to slaughter it to send it to be with them.

Death really pisses me off. Why did only Lazarus and Jesus get to rise from the dead? Why not my Ron and your two friends? I've got a long list.

Truly though my heart does go out to their loved ones who will miss them so very much.

Sparkling Red said...

Vanessa: Thank you. I will pass your condolences along. Blessings to you and your family.

Ron: Thanks. They sure need every positive vibe they can get.

Granny Annie: Yeah, it's pretty awful. Thanks for your heartfelt sympathy.

DarcKnyt said...

Spark, we'll keep praying for you. You're a good friend to be the firm shoulder when they need it most. Be sure to have someone there to bolster you if you need it.

All our love.

G. B. Miller said...

Sometimes a reality check can really bite. Sounds like you and Ken going is very good thing indeed for Easter.

Have a Happy Easter.

Father Nature's Corner

Sparkling Red said...

DarcKnyt: Thank you. I am paying extra-special attention to my self-care right now.

G.B.: Yup, I guess we're going to be the Easter bunnies.

Lynn said...

The woman who passed away had a great sense of humor, didn't she? The facebook status thing cracks me up. I am very sorry for these losses though and hope the gathering was peaceful and healing.

Jenski said...

So sorry for all that loss. I hope Easter was a wonderful day of memories!