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Old 26.08.2011, 00:25
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Stop and smell the flowers

I wasn't sure whether to post this, and I've had it here on the screen for over an hour without pressing the post button. Somehow it helps me to write it down because it seems so unreal - because I'm not there living close by or being able to "do" anything concrete. So, forgive me if this is a bit self indulgent.

Yesterday I lost a good friend of mine to leukaemia.

She was just 29 years old, mother of two beautiful children aged 2 and (nearly) 4. She was a mum, a wife, a daughter, and to me - a friend. And she was one of "those" friends - you know the ones - the ones who stick up for you and understand you and say kind things to you when you're sad and give you a kick up the butt when you need one.

She fought very hard for 9 months, through chemo, radiotherapy, losing her hair, sickness and tiredness and terrible side effects, a bone marrow transplant, dialysis, and a whole bunch of other nasty things. She fought and fought until the end. And she never complained. Not once. "I just have to get well for the kids" she would say. And "how are YOU?" she would say to visitors.

She was the most selfless and bravest person I know.

Sometimes it's very hard to be far away from the ones you love. I know she knew how much we cared for her. But I still wish I could be there in the UK to share this pain with others who are feeling the same.

So, tonight, if you're feeling cross about the hot weather, or the fact you can't mow your grass on Sunday or that things costs too much in the supermarket ..... just stop for a minute please. Hug your kids. Hug them tight. Hug all the ones you love. And be happy.

For my friend Angela, who none of you know at all, but I think you would have liked her. She was funny and sarcastic and a bit dippy sometimes. And gorgeous. And I just miss her so much.
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Old 26.08.2011, 00:31
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Re: Stop and smell the flowers

Big hugs to you and so sorry to read of the loss of your friend. What a very brave woman she must have been.

Tomorrow, just for her and you, I will do my best to stop and think and appreciate. If my son back chats me, as he often does these days, I will just hug him.
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Old 26.08.2011, 00:51
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Re: Stop and smell the flowers

Wattsli1, thank you for your post.

I was very touched by it.

I also lost a good friend, a few years ago, to the same dis-ease you lost your friend. In my mind she was so precious, so I empathise with your feelings.

And now ..... in this present time, I am learning to enjoy the company of a visitor ..... father of my son here, out for a short visit.... We sit and reminisce (spelling?sorry) over all the foibles of the past ... the pets who passed our lives .... the friends long gone to other planets ......the uptight mind-sets we all used to have ........ and yet ... here we are ... all of us ... survivors ...... able to sit, sip a drink (or 4 or 5...) enjoy the beautiful weather, and communicate, while we are able to.... And to appreciate all that we do have. Never mind our diverse previous held beliefs in "rights and wrongs" ....... the ability to converse and enjoy conversation for the sheer joy of communication, while we live, is a gift not lightly received.

Thank you again, for sharing your feelings here.
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Old 26.08.2011, 01:00
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Re: Stop and smell the flowers

I am so sorry for your loss....
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Old 26.08.2011, 15:50
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Re: Stop and smell the flowers

Thanks for posting. Been there, done that. Thinking of you.
We all need reminding of the need to appreciate the present from time to time.
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Old 26.08.2011, 15:53
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Re: Stop and smell the flowers

Yup, sorry to hear about your loss, it sucks but it will get better. I know, I just went through that sort of thing. Remember all the good things and remember how your friend would have wanted your to remember them and live your life.
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Old 28.08.2011, 12:21
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Re: Stop and smell the flowers

Very touched by your post too- I am so sorry. Nearly 10 years since I lost my very best friend to pancreatic cancer, she was 52. And I still miss her terribly now.
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Old 28.08.2011, 12:28
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Re: Stop and smell the flowers

Thanks for sharing..life takes some tragic turns at times, not sure if we ever get ready for them. My heart goes to her family, I am sure she knew what friend she had in you.
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Old 28.08.2011, 12:41
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Re: Stop and smell the flowers

To echo the posts of others, I am so terrible sorry for your loss. I have never had to watch somebody I love struggle like that, she sounds like a remarkable woman. I know I wouldn't have the strength that she's had.

I lost a very close friend almost 3 years ago to suicide and although I still get teary-eyed when I think about him, nowadays I look back in fondness. It sounds like you were very lucky to have her in your life and, while the shock and pain of losing someone can never be avoided, you have to learn to smile when you think of her rather than cry. It will come in time, and in the meantime you should do what works for you. I found that speaking to friends who were also experiencing the loss helped, maybe that will help you too. Thinking of you.
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Old 28.08.2011, 13:11
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Re: Stop and smell the flowers

Touching. Thanks for pressing the send button. Hugs to you.
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Old 29.08.2011, 08:40
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Re: Stop and smell the flowers

I am sorry for your loss.

And thank you for the reminder to keep things in perspective.
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Old 29.08.2011, 15:15
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Re: Stop and smell the flowers

We live in a kind of schizophrenic world. There's the reality of daily routine that kind of keeps you sane and it brings a set of highs and lows that you have to navigate your way through; that's the easy bit. Then there's the reality of the world beyond the fake backdrop, the one where people touch our lives and we learn and discover more about ourselves because of them than we ever could alone. That's the world that we create for all intents and purposes inside our minds, where we play the starring rôle. We spin the tragedy of a loss into our lives and we mourn a spirit that remains alive, but the carrier is no longer with us. Physically we're unaffected, but inside, we grieve, not as much for the other person as we probably think, but for ourselves and those left behind. It unnervingly reminds us of our expendable state and we'd rather not face that given the choice.

It doesn't fit into our picture of the world we feel that we've come to accept when friends and loved ones close to us pass. Our lives maneuver erratically through other people's paths and yet when we encounter a loss, the Disneyesque character and nature of our travels take a hit that we don't feel we can handle. Irreplaceable is a superfluous word in practical terms, but we can't see it in the moment of hurt. That's why we're humans, we set ourselves apart from those without feelings. And it makes every one of us so very special. We should nurture love and emotion in the present tense, because we cannot plan ahead with so many tangibles present, however strong our memories and feelings may sway our actions into believing otherwise.

To the OP, your words are poignant and truthful. I'm very sorry for your loss.
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Old 29.08.2011, 15:22
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Re: Stop and smell the flowers

I'm sorry for your loss,

However, I have to admit, that was an emotional read with how you presented your memory of her to us.

Thanks for that.


You clearly were a great friend to her as well....... and as you will be to her kids in the future.... all is not lost.
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Old 29.08.2011, 15:50
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Re: Stop and smell the flowers

I'm sorry to hear of your loss.

Not sure if it's appropriate to post a german song on an ef, but to my mind it's a song which portrays these feelings of incredible loss in a nearly perfect way. Maybe you like to listen to it and feel that you're not alone with such emotions. There's some kind translation provided /subtitles..

I've often listened to it and found it helpful to realize, that even if things are bearable, it doesn't mean that you can avoid the pain. And how hard it is to accept this 'natural' process because there are no substitutes for individuals.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=fv0yaQvm--E
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