Friday, August 20, 2010

Going Home

It is with a heavy heart, and a saddened mind that I write this post.

Friday evening I spent the night at the home of my dearest next-door neighbor who for the past two years, has been fighting a brave battle against Pulmonary Fibrosis.
Linda has never smoked cigarettes, her disease was hereditary, and had already claimed the life of her mother and brother.

Her condition in these past few months had deteriorated immensely, family members faced with taking care of her every need, exhausted.
I volunteered to stay with Linda, and give what relief I could offer.

She underwent a difficult night, her breathing shallow and labored. I fed her a small bowl of ice-cream, wiped her fevered brow, massaged her blue-tinged feet, and told her how much I valued our friendship, and loved her as a sister.
The following morning, the Hospice nurse arrived.

I offered to stay, although family members were present, and I felt it best give them their privacy and so returned home.
Exhausted, and filled with despair I laid down to sleep.

Within an hour I received a text-message that simply read "Heaven"
I knew my dear friend had passed and was now on her journey 'home'........

Fifty eight years young, a true friend and neighbor.
A hard-working lady, never married.
A proud country girl, who loved her family and church-family.
A true-animal lover in every sense of the word.
A dedicated sister and daughter, who cared for her ailing family.
A lady who loved life, and shared that love with those around her.

Godspeed you on your journey 'home' Linda.
There's a triumphant welcome awaiting you.

I already miss you my dear friend.

Do not stand at my grave and weep,
I am not there, I do not sleep.
I am in a thousand winds that blow,
I am the softly falling snow.
I am the gentle showers of rain,
I am the fields of ripening grain.
I am in the morning hush,
I am in the graceful rush
Of beautiful birds in circling flight,
I am the starshine of the night.
I am in the flowers that bloom,
I am in a quiet room.
I am in the birds that sing,
I am in each lovely thing.
Do not stand at my grave and cry,
I am not there. I did not die.

~ Mary Elizabeth Frye


Marguerite (Tina) Smith Hart said...

Dear Jo, I weep with you in this moment, the loss of a dear friend is very hard to wrap our hearts around.
My prayers are with you and be comforted by the fact that you were her very truest friend and lifted her up when she was at her lowest. Bless your heart!
Tina xo

Barbara Anne said...

Bless your heart, Jo. This is a lovely tribute to a soul friend who was a true gift to have right next door. I am crying for each of you who lost such a wonderful sister, neighbor, and friend in Linda's departure.

Go in peace, Linda. You made a good difference in the world and you will be missed forever.

Big hugs.

Deanna said...

Dear One,
May God comfort you and this sweet friend's family.

I am sorry to hear of your loss.
You are blessed to know her and see the difference she has made about her and to the ones she was known to.


Peggy Montano & Paintings said...

I send hugs to you also. What a great tribute to your friend.
And her name is Linda, the same name that we gave our daughter 57 years ago.

LHA said...

My thoughts are with you.

Betsy Banks Adams said...

Oh Jo, I am so very sorry for the loss of your neighbor and special friend. But--the poem is correct... She's now out of pain and in a better place. As much as we here on earth will miss her, she's smiling down now telling you that she's okay...I know that you know that --but I also know how sad it is... God Bless You and Linda's family and friends.

Hugs and Prayers,

~Kim at Golden Pines~ said...

Jo, I'm so very sorry to read about the loss of your dear friend. Of course not ever having met her, I feel like I know her by your beautiful tribute to her. How very blessed your lives were by one another and your friendship. I hope you are able to find comfort in your memories of her and in knowing that you will see her again one day; and what a wonderful day that will be.

DJan said...

What a beautiful tribute to a dear friend who died way too young. I am sure she is now at rest, after having tried so hard and so long to survive. Your dedication to her was appreciated, I am sure. Hugs to you and condolences to all.

The Mathews said...

So sorry for your loss

Rebecca said...

These sad times are times of reflection and evaluation for those who are left behind. Considering the shortness of life and its mysteries, we are pointed to the Ultimate Giver of Life and Source of our Eternal Life.

May you experience and trust His "hand" and His "heart" of love in this difficult time.

Stella Jones said...

That is so sad. My condolences to you in your loss. It is always hard to lose a friend. I love the poem you left with us. I know it and have used it myself a few times, hoping it would bring comfort to several people.
When you feel like cheering up, take a look at my latest post. I'm sure it will make you smile again.
Blessings, Star said...

We had a neighbor man with the same disease.He believed it was from working at a tire rubber company.Since we knew about transplants,we offered info on a hospital to see about a lung transplant.It wasn`t to be.They said he was too old{only in his 60`s} & too far along in his illness to survive a transplant.
It is so hard to lose a friend,may God wrap His comforting arms around you & allow you to be at peace with her going home.You have reminded me of how I used to make Tom laugh,then he`d get so short of breath,I`d feel bad,but he always wanted me to tell him funny stories,it seemed to make his day.We now try to help his widow out as much as we can,shoveling snow & what not`s around the yard.I`m so sorry you lost such a young friend,phylliso

Gerald (SK14) said...

Get the kettle on - let us have a cup of tea together - let us talk of her joyous times.

The Retired One said...

I am so sorry for your loss. {hugs} to you.

Kay said...

So sorry to hear about your loss. At least now your dear friend is no longer in pain or suffering. She is with our Father and she is healthy and whole.

Carol said...

Hugs from all of us. Losing a friend is hard but I know you have many wonderful memories to remember her.

karen said...

So sorry you have lost your wonderful friend. Her pain now released and her new life begins...Hugs to you. Beautiful post tribute.

Deb said...

I agree with your friend Gerald. It is time to gather with friends and talk about the good memories of your dear friend who passed away. I lost my good friend in February and I miss her every day. I am comforted by the wonderful memories of all our times together. Take care, Deb =^..^=x5

George said...

I'm sorry to hear about the loss of your friend, although I know she is in a better place and was comforted by your presence as she started her journey home.

Patsy said...

So sad to lose a friend and neighbor.

Linda Jennings said...

Sending love and hugs from Kentucky.

donna baker said...

So very sorry, Jo, for you and Linda. You and her gave each other a wonderful gift in the end. May we all be so loved and cared for.

Michael said...

Oh I am so sorry to read this. how very sad. It sounds like she died surrounded by the love of others though and your post here is a fitting memorial of sorts too.

"Within an hour I received a text-message that simply read "Heaven""
Very poignant, very poetic really.

matron said...

I am sorry to hear of the passing of your dear friend and i am sorry for your sadness.Your tribute to her was lovely and shows what a good friend you were to her and her family,God bless you.

Andora said...

So sorry Jo for the loss of your dear friend and neighbor..thoughts and hugs to you!!!!

The Tablescaper said...

My heart and prayers are with you. So hard, but only because of the love and the friendship you two shared.

- The Tablescaper

Sunny said...

Just got nack to the 'puter.... so sorry to hear of your loss. I know this is a sad time for you and Linda's family... May God comfort your hearts.

DeniseinVA said...

A beautiful and loving tribute to your friend and neighbor. My heart goes out to you and her family Jo. I am so sorry for your loss. Sending you a big hug too.

MadSnapper said...

the tears are flowing as I read this, we are with you in the pain you feel. thanks for sharing your pain with us. I am sorry I missed this, i took the week end off and just found this. I agree with the text message "Heaven" she is not here she is there.

Sunny said...

Jo, I'm so sorry to read of your loss. My deepest sympathy to you and her family.
☼ Sunny

Betsy Brock said...

It's always hard to loose a friend! How wonderful that you got to be there close to the end and share sweet words. Thinking of you!

laney said...

..."all the wealth of the world cannot buy you a friend...or pay you for the loss of one"...i know...i have been there too...blessings and love and prayers for your breaking heart...your friend was blessed to have you...

Haven and Home said...

Oh I am so sorry. There are no words. I will keep you all in my thoughts and prayers.

Unknown said...

Jo I am so sorry to read of your loss, it sounds like you both benefitted from a wonderful friendship. This was a lovely tribute, the Frye poem just says it all and is one of my favourites. God bless you both.

Maura @ Kisiwa Creek Photography said...

Oh Jo, I'm so sorry to see this post about your dear friend and neighbors passing. Such a sad thing to happen at any age and the fact that this disease took her mother and brother is so heart wrenching. You were her good friend Jo and you were there to make her comfortable in her last hours. My heart goes out to you my friend. I hope today was a good day and that you were able to do something to make you smile and feel that life is good again. Take care my friend. Maura X