For a while now I have been sitting here staring at the computer screen. I am saddened and at a loss for words. Maybe numb is a good word to describe it. It some how amazes me how we can grow to care for our cyber friends. These are people we have never met and realistically never will meet in person. Some how through the power of words typed on a computer screen friendships and bonds are developed. I am so very grateful for the friendships the bonds I have with each and everyone of you out there.
In the past few posts I have written about one of you my blogging friends. I have written about Meg. Meg, a 42 year old woman, was fighting the final futile battle with cancer. Meg’s husband and only child have previously passed leaving her totally alone to fight this battle. Meg, then totally threw herself into her work becoming a workaholic, not taking the time to make friends to accompany on this difficult journey. Work became her life, leaving her feeling she had no life when cancer robbed her of the ability to work as the doctor she was.
Meg and I exchanged an number of emails. Plus, Vi and I chatted with her once on the computer via skype. We each knew the seriousness of the health condition of the other. Hey, let’s face it when I pass I am sure it will be all over the blog letting her and everyone else know. How would I know should something happen to here.
Emails would just stop coming and I would be left wondering not knowing. Meg advised me that as she really had no friends she would ask her solicitor to let me know via email. I was totally shocked this morning to receive that email:
Dear Mr Howdle,
I have been retained to act on behalf of Dr Megan…….
It is with deep sadness that I write to inform you that Dr ……… ended her life yesterday. In her final correspondence to me she asked that I let you know how very grateful she was for the time you spent with her. I have copied her message to you below.
Please don’t cry. Don’t be sad for me. I simply couldn’t bear the loneliness any longer, especially knowing that this would be my last few months of life. The silence of my life was bigger than me in the end. If this was another time, another place then I know you and Vi would have absorbed me into your family but sometimes circumstances intervene and stop us from having what we need so desperately. My dreams were small; a human voice to laugh with, to make the tough stuff easier, a hand to hold when the tough stuff was too tough, to know that in this life I was loved and that I mattered, not as Dr……. , but as Meggy. There is a wonderful quote from MacLeod’s book, snapshots on a journey, which says, ‘None of us know what it will be like when the time comes. But we know it will help if people are with us on the journey – people not frightened to listen to us, who will not leave us to negotiate the last part of the track alone’. That is what you gifted to me my precious friend and I would ask this one last thing of you: please never question the remarkable gift you are giving to anyone whose life is being touched by death just by being you. Don’t devalue what you do, don’t underestimate it, don’t forget what a wonderful gift your human presence has brought to many others, simply cherish it and each other. When you remember me, remember me with love. The poem below may help you with that.
You can shed tears that she is gone
Or you can smile because she has lived
You can close your eyes and pray that she will come back
Or you can open your eyes and see all that she has left
Your heart can be empty because you can’t see her
Or you can be full of the love that you shared
You can turn your back on tomorrow and live yesterday
Or you can be happy for tomorrow because of yesterday
You can remember her and only that she is gone
Or you can cherish her memory and let it live on
You can cry and close your mind, be empty and turn your back
Or you can do what she would want: smile, open your eyes, love and go on.
with my love and gratitude