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Monday, February 21, 2011

Saying Goodbye

Some people who know us may know that Ralph and I come from two different religious backgrounds. In our life, it's not a problem but I do realize that for others it would be confusing and difficult. I have the highest respect for all and any religious beliefs.

Over the last two days, I have had the opportunity to be with my husband and his family during the Wake and Funeral for my Father-in-law whose death came suddenly last Tuesday in a tragic boating accident. Although they are investigating the circumstances, it is likely we will never know exactly what happened. The other three people in the accident survived the accident, two of them completely physically unscathed. I say physically because watching one of your best friends die before your eyes does not, as I would have guessed and have now witness with my very eyes, leave you emotionally unscathed.

Not at all.

I have had the chance to experience true grace under pressure, the ability to pull yourself together when you don't think you can, and what it means to support and love people even when you yourself are falling apart.

All in all, we got to say goodbye to a great man over the course of two days. I have decided that the best we can hope for when we leave this world is to say that so many people loved us unconditionally, that so many people remember us fondly with stories that still make us laugh, that our children laugh through their tears because 'remember when such-and-such a thing happened?'

We said goodbye in a way that I think my father-in-law would be proud.

Life is so short, beautiful and short. It can come to an end all of a sudden.

What do you hope people remember about you?


  1. I feel your pain. It's humbling to mourn the passing of someone so beloved. It makes you think of your own mortality, that of those others you love. You have my heartfelt sympathies. They did a memorial for my brother today in Iowa at the university where he taught. I wrote something for it, but I wondered what inner life my brother had that is now lost to all of us. Life is as mysterious as death to me. I don't care much how I'm remembered on Earth. It's my next life that interests me. Which means I try to be okay in this one. Hang in.

  2. Condolences to you and your husband and family. It's good to be able to say goodbye in a way that celebrates your loved one's life.
    You're in my thoughts.

  3. My deepest sympathy to you and your family. It's difficult to lose loved ones sudden or through long illnesses.

  4. Beautifully said, Rebecca, and my deepest sympathy and thoughts are with you and your family. Saying goodbye is never easy.