When we say goodbye
How do you say goodbye? If you had 24 hours left to live, who would you want to visit and what would you want to say? This event just happened. I was honoured to be allowed to say goodbye to a dear person in my life recently.
After suffering from Parkinson’s for 20 years, the pain is no longer tolerable. We went to say our goodbyes. What do you say to someone you shared life’s biggest moments with? Pat was there for me when both my parents passed and I was there when she lost her sister and her both parents. A common thread in our relationship was dealing with loss and finding the silver lining. Until it was now her time. What do I say?
I say the same things I would want her to say to me if it was my turn.
What she meant to me, what she added to my life and how much I was a better person for knowing her. Pat did share that it meant everything to her to hear from the others in her life that she meant something and to hear it while she was alive. The expression “don’t wait to tell someone you love them” was never so obvious. The focus of her stare was intense and time was so precious. Say what we must and then touch. I rubbed her hand. I held her hand. I assured her she mattered to me and would not be forgotten. When you don’t learn a lesson there is a fable that says; a little pebble is thrown, if you don’t pay attention the same lesson is told but a rock is thrown. If you’re still not listening, the rock will be a big old boulder. Until you learn the lesson it just keeps getting in your way.
My lesson, tell the ones you love, “I love you.” You never ever know what the next 24 hours brings and nothing, nothing else matters but love. To share it. To give it. To receive it.
When we started our cosmetic company 30 years ago it was with four people. We all felt like family. Pat was one of the four. She was family.
Our first Christmas party was just us, but to get dinner reservations we needed six people to reserve a table. We invited my parents to make six of us. They were simple times. And with reflection, probably the very best times.
When I had my last conversation with Pat and we recalled our fond memories that Christmas dinner was top on the list.
It’s not what we buy or get for each other, it’s the time we share with each other. Thank you Pat for reminding me.
Goodbye Pat, I will see you on the other side.