Friday, May 4th, 2012
The storm clouds have fled. The sky looks peaceful - palest blue and serenest clouds.
When the rain quit about four o'clock I put supper in the oven, gave Charles his dram of scotch for happy hour and went out to pick anemones. When I had gathered them, and a little greenery from the willow tree and some small closed tulips I took them all to the church to decorate the tea tables for the reception to follow my dearest friend's funeral tomorrow.
When she died twelve days ago I could not cry for her. I was so relieved that her hours of waiting were over and her precious spirit was released from the frustrations of five years of Altzheimers and the gradual depletion of her body and of her mind and the long wait for death to claim her, tenderly..
She never lost her smile. And she never lost the ability to make people smile with her. And she didn't lose her long term memory. We reminisced about times when we were young and when our children were young; the parties we had, and the quiet moments we enjoyed together.
And she could still laugh about the silly things that we did, and that the young ones did, and the times we would gather for dinner and a game of bridge, and the lemon pies she used to make for Charles.. Just a few things at a time, and. towards the end. only for a few minutes at a time before she became tired and confused and distracted. It was enough to sit and hold her hand.
Now I can cry grateful tears for this friendship I was so blessed with, and for all the happy years.
Tomorrow Charles and I will go to say goodbye, as we said goodbye to her husband, ten years ago, and our hearts will be full. And if our eyes are bright it will not only be with unshed tears, but also with the pleasure of being with her family, and celebrating a beautiful life and knowing that somewhere, in some form, she is again a living and vibrant part of the universe.
Say not in grief that she is no more,
but say in thankfulness that she was.
A death is not the extinguishing of a light
but the putting out of the lamp
because the dawn has come.
Life is eternal and love is immortal
and death is only a horizon
and a horizon is nothing save the limit of our sight.
Rossiter Worthington Raymond