Friday, September 17, 2010

When Death Kindly Stopped for her

Night before last, I made arrangements via facebook to have lunch with my friend Anne. We have been friends since the sixth grade and she moved to Italy when she was in college and remained there after. We kind of drifted a little apart in high school but never to the point we didn't talk to one another or have mutual respect for one another.
She has always been dear to me and I regret spending less time with her in high school than I should have. I didn't keep in touch with her for many years not knowing where she was. Facebook, in fact brought us back together and we had a lovely reunion meeting last year where we attempted to catch up some decades. Impossible task but most enjoyable meeting.
I found the same loving and wonderful person I had always known and the years just melted away. I was beyond grateful she had been in my life. I told her how her friendship had lifted me up at a time when I needed a friend and the constant comfort, trust and genuine goodness in her was such a gift.
She's a real person, always has been, there was never an ounce of pretense to our friendship. It was this honest and wonderful friendship. She was never jealous and was always generous with me, even when I drifted away from her. It means a lot to get to tell someone how you really feel. And to thank someone for being a real friend.
We have had a few opportunities for get togethers since she has been in town every six months.
The sad part was her mother had Alzheimer's and was in a nursing home so the reason she comes to town for a week is to spend time with her, every six months.
Within the hour of making lunch plans, her mother passed away, so naturally we postponed. It's a miracle that this happened while she was in town, given how the odds were so against it, but I am glad she was here. So this is the second friend of mine who has become an orphan this month.
Still not something I want to think about. But I am glad that I can be there to offer her my support and compassion and friendship. I called her tonight to see how the day was. It makes my heart heavy to think of her going through this- to think that I will likely have to go through this myself. And that none of us get out alive.
But it does give me fortitude to live my life now. I'm blessed to have such a sweet and caring friend and I'm glad to be there for her at this time in our lives. It is my theory that sometimes death is kind enough to stop for us and especially for an Alzheimer's patient. And death was kind enough to let her loving daughter be there when he stopped by to pick her up. My friend's father who passed away recently, and was also suffering from dementia, as I gave my condolences to his brother, who I did not really know, I took his hand and said "I am so sorry for your loss."
He said "Yeah, so am I, but I'm not at the same time. I'm glad he got to go when he was ready and it was time." Sometimes there is a great kindness in death.

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