Sunday, 3 March 2013

Life and times

On the last day of February, a very close friend departed from this world. It seems like it was just like that and all of a sudden when actually, things had been going downhill for a while. Something seems to want this dying process not to be, and so it feels like it can not be true. Surely not, death can not be upon us. Yet it was and it did happen. Part of the processes of life we just pretend do not happen. We readily welcome birth and yet can not prepare for death.

Her breath stopped. That was all there was in the end. No breath. No final words, no fine speeches, no hand squeezes. I feel like she went without saying goodbye. Though surely what on earth had we been up to every weekend for the past two months with my four hour round trip stopping over on a Saturday night if it wasn't actually the long good bye? The is the post I wrote a week or so back and I am listening again to the beautiful music. I will ask if we can have this piece of music (The memory of trees) at her funeral. What is it that we all want if not to be remembered. She did not request any music or ceremony just to have her son scatter her ashes into the river behind her house. The rest is down to me and another friend.

The last weekend we had together was less poignant than the one I blogged about. When I arrived she was all sparkly eyed with her hair finally cut and with her breathless soft voice we caught up on news. With regards to her hair she quietly announced she would never have her hair washed again. She was right. Five days later she passed. She told me her son had just been awarded a place at university and there were other tribulations for her to be so proud. And I told her so. That last weekend she properly sorted out some technical details with me as someone who can do the web stuff and finally handed over some passwords. On Saturday night we were naughty girls and were up a lot of the night watching cop programmes until we both slept in our respective chairs.

During the sleeping bit on that last night she stirred and for once I woke in response and looked at her. I smiled at her and she smiled at me. In the morning she told me how special that moment was. She said she felt she could let go and that she was safe.

By the Tuesday things were going downhill but as she was writing lucid notes on Facebook to say she was going and she texted to specifically ask me not to text her until she contacted me. That was a horrid afternoon and evening not knowing what was happening. In the end I texted her Wednesday morning and offered to come. Her simple reply was to phone her husband. I was at work by then and arranged to finish work early and cancel all forthcoming appointments and to get over there in the afternoon. Her plan was not to go on the syringe driver until after I and another friend had arrived. By the time I arrived she was sleeping peacefully and looked like a little child at peace. She never did wake up properly and through hand squeezing communication that night the syringe driver was fitted with her agreement.

Throughout that next 24 hours I mostly held her hand. As did her son and friend, while her husband read to her, just as she had wished and envisaged.

My friend was no angel in her life and yet she was was. She was a frightened little girl who was always trying to please. She had huge capacity for brilliance with a sharp mind. You only had to mention something and she would go off and try to make it happen. I once wrote here on my blog about my childhood search for the mythical four leaf clover .... she found me one set in a glass and silver pendant on a chain and posted it to me. We fell out a couple of years back over a misunderstanding and we both needed time apart. Thank goodness I finally responded to her email last year - it was the one she wrote to me as the person and not as a business colleague.

There is so much that can still be said. I am hibernating for now, work is cancelled on Monday and then I am away with my beloved Mr Doris for a birthday present spa break that has been booked since early January. Back at work on Friday and Saturday and then driving over to my friend's house for the same old routine but this time without her. I shall do computer stuff, help sort her house for the wake and see her son. Life goes on.

Rest in peace dear friend.


Anji said...

The music is perfect.

When my dad died my sister told me that she felt privileged to be there at the end for him. I imagine that you feel the same about your friend.

Have a good break and take care

Doris said...

Yes, it is indeed an honour to be there for someone at that time and that does override most other feelings.

Thank you Anji for your continued kindness and support.

alan said...

You are such a lovely dear friend; with tears in my eyes, I thank you for being you!


Doris said...

Thank you Alan, especially as I know you have your own battles. Peace and love to you my dear. xxx

Mad Baggage said...

You are a blessing xxxx

Doris said...

Thank you Mad Baggage xxx