Saying Goodbye

Saying Goodbye


Yesterday, we put my friend’s father to rest after a very short struggle with cancer. It has brought so many thoughts and feelings to the forefront.

My friend is a little older than me and her father was a little older than my father. We are also both only children and this has been the first parent lost in my grouping of friends. Not only is it difficult dealing with the loss of a great man, but also it is a reminder that we are all getting a little older.

Saying Goodbye is not easy and certainly a journey that does not happen quickly. Yesterday, the memorial provided an opportunity for all of us to start the emotional process. The service was in a small building but we probably broke a few fire codes to get everyone in there. Family, friends and old colleagues filled the room to support the immediate family … and each other.

We took our four-year-old daughter as I feel that it is important for children to understand the process of life. Life is worth living and enjoying. Birth should be celebrated and cooed at, and death should be acknowledged and celebrated for the life that was filled. I know that many people will disagree with her presence there but these friends are like family. It is good for her to learn that adults do cry and feel strong emotions. It is also good for her to learn to be a supportive friend and hold a hand for comfort.

I was proud of my friend for letting her children be there and be an active part of the service for their grandfather. I know it was tough for her to pack her protective shield away, but I honestly feel that her children will never regret going. They felt sadness and loss but also learned how many people were special to their Papa.

I am grateful to have parents that are open to the discussion of death and dying. I recognize that grateful might be seen as a strange word to use. They have taught me not to fear the sight of death or the tears of mourning. They have also been wise to complete Wills and Power of Attorneys to make the difficult years of aging a little easier on their only child. I know how we will say goodbye when the time comes. I won’t be ready. We never are. No one likes Saying Goodbye.

In the comments, please share your thoughts on this difficult topic. To my dear friends and family, please keep the privacy of the family in this post and not use any names in the comments.

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6 Replies to “Saying Goodbye”

  1. This is so beautifully written Michelle. This June it will be 20 years since my dad passed away. My condolences to you and your friend. Sending hugs.


  2. Michelle,
    This is a profound and beautiful post, filled with so much truth and meaning. I, too, am happy to hear that your little one, as well as your friends’ children, were able to celebrate the life of their grandfather. Thank you so much for sharing this today.


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