For Those of Us Who Remain

I'm spending the day writing a eulogy for a family friend.  Actually, my daughter is doing much of the work and I'm helping her.  The two of us are sitting in my living room, kitty cats lolling on the floor between us, basking in the warmth of the fire we've had lit all day.

It is a difficult day.  Tomorrow, the day of the funeral, will be even harder.

Our friend was only 46.  Too young to die.  And to make matters worse, she took her own life.

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This is the hardest part to comprehend for those of us who remain.  She was loving, vibrant, funny, intelligent, creative, joyous, and passionate.  She had a husband who adored her, and a wide circle of loving friends.  And she was also in terrible pain, both physical and emotional. 

Eventually the pain won out.

For those of us who remain, it is difficult to know how to react.  Words are inadequate to comfort her husband, or each other.  Wrapping one's brain around the awful finality of it is impossible.

But there's this:

My friend was a writer, a sometime blogger, an entrepreneur, a truly creative woman.  Whenever something like this happens, I think and think and think about it.  And cry and weep and wail.  And then I get back to thinking.  And I think the best tribute to her is to carry on.  To live life as fully as possible, which to me–and I think it was so for her–means using all my talents to the fullest.  To serve others and the world with my gifts.  To laugh and love and enjoy.

Her death makes me recommit to my writing, fiercely and fervently.  To vow not to waste a minute mindlessly surfing the internet when I could be creating something beautiful and full of life.  To remember what a gift life is and share that knowledge as often and in as many ways as possible.  This is the highest honor and respect I can give her memory.

And so that's what I'm going to do.

Rest in peace, my dear friend.

 

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6 Comments on "For Those of Us Who Remain"

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Rosemary Hannan
Guest

I’m so sorry to hear about your friend Charlotte. Death is so…final and impossible really for us to comprehend. Your friend was too young…but it sounds like she maybe reached that point where the pain of even watching her loved ones watch her pain became too much. God be with her…may she be at peace now. Warmest wishes to you, Rosemary

Lauri
Guest

I’m so sorry for your loss. I think the way you’ve chosen to honor your friend’s memory is wonderful -to live life and write fiercely and fervently – to use all ones talents – wow.

Karen
Guest
Karen

My condolences to you and to her family and yours, dear Charlotte. May Autumn’s golden light embrace you all.

Don
Guest
Oh, this is just so sad! I feel so bad for everyone involved, you and your daughter included. The pain is real, and will eventually diminished over time, but in the meantime you must be brave and go on! I still remember it like it was yesterday, when I was just a youngster, when my friend who was only 16 years old decided to end his young life. I didn’t understand it then; I still don’t now, but unfortunately, I guess, that death is a just another part of life and that the best thing that you can possibly do… Read more »
Derek
Guest
Derek
I am so sorry to hear such tragic news. Some people may say, “what a waste”, but whilst I may feel it to be a life wasted, I cannot possibly know what it is to live in another’s reality. As a Zen practitioner, I could say, that it’s karma, but really I am not meant to know. Is anybody? Life is mystery and Zen doesn’t judge the physical world as it is regarded as an illusion, as is judgement itself. Whatever our path to realization, there is no way we really say that we know what is right or what… Read more »
Charlotte Dixon
Guest

Thanks you guys, for your comments, I feel supported and loved by all of them. The eulogy and service went well, though made us feel her loss more deeply. I wish for all of us that we can remember always how much we each have to contribute–and how important it is to make that contribution. Please know how wonderful you are!

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