Friday, November 12, 2010

soul food friday...on life and loss

I went to a funeral yesterday. The remembrance of a really, truly, lovely woman who, at 61, died far too early.  As Remembrance Day was being observed in places around the globe, we remembered Rose.
My friend Jo and I went to see Rose in the hospice last Saturday, in the morning. The cancer had spread to her brain... but she knew us, she smiled when we walked in, she laughed at our lame jokes, and she held our hands when we left. And she died...with her family surrounding her... just six hours later. 


I have been deeply saddened by this death. Rose and I didn't call each other on the phone or go and have coffee together, but we occasionally facebooked...as you do! My interactions with her happened mostly at family occasions, as I'm lucky enough to be included in this large clan's celebrations...and sadnesses. This I consider a huge privilege and an extraordinary gift.


Through these occasions, and a few weekends away at a wonderful place called Green Cape, and the times before she got ill when she'd come along to our book club which she helped form during a bush walk not far outside Canberra, I came to know Rose. 


When I was thinking about her in the days after her death I wondered how I would describe her. And the word, among many that came to mind was this...gentle. Rose was gentle. There aren't many people in the world I know that can claim that title. When you went somewhere and found that Rose was there too, you thought "oooh good, Rose is here". She was a delight to be around. Quietly and unexpectedly wicked, calm, caring...just plain nice. And I have enormous affection and respect for nice.


There's no point is there, in ranting or railing against this senseless loss of a lovely life. To a disease that continues to take people of all ages. To ask why. Because there is no answer. All we can do is accept...once the fighting's done. That's what Rose did with incredible grace. And donate to find a cure.  And live our own best lives...she did that too. 

36 comments:

  1. It's hard, eh, Kerry? I wish you all the best, and I wish your friend, 'God speed'.

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  2. Oh, what a tribute to Rose. I hope she knew how much you respected her and loved her.

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  3. Oh Kerry that is a lovely tribute and it is so incredibly sad. I know its tempting to be angry as such senseless loss. I agree there is no answer. I am sorry for your loss. Beautiful images too. xoxo

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  4. I am so saddened by your loss, Kerry. This is a beautiful and well written tribute to Rose...you make me wish I had known her. You will be in my thoughts.

    XO,
    Jane

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  5. A gorgeous heartfelt post Kerry.

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  6. I am so sorry for your loss Kerry, Rose sounds like a wonderful person that you were priveleged to know. It was a beautiful tribute to her today. xx

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  7. Really nice post Kerry, so well written. Sorry for your loss of what sounds like a very nice lady. I lost my aunt to cancer just over 12 months ago now and she was also only 59 and full of so much love of life. It is just not fair... ;-)

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  8. What a beautiful tribute to a lovely lady. A beautiful post Kerry x

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  9. What a moving post, Kerry. Tears are pricking my eyes. I hope her family reads this. A gracious tribute. J x

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  10. God bless Rose...God bless you...God bless us.

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  11. Rose sounds like she was a lovely friend. I too have enormous respect for nice people (they are a rare find), which is perhaps the reason I am so fond of you. xx

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  12. I'm so sorry to hear about your friend passing away Kerry - Rose sounded like a really beautiful lady with a lovely soul which you have captured so well in this touching post xx

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  13. So sorry sweet, but I know Rose was lucky to have a beautiful friend like you. Such an eloquent and touching post my friend. K xx

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  14. I'm very sorry to hear about your dear friend Rose. You've written such a lovely tribute Kerry. A cure for the many cancers can't come soon enough. I love that you admired Rose for being gentle. It is a quality often overlooked and undervalued. Lots of love to you..Rachaelxx

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  15. Kerry, I am sorry you lost someone you care about. Your words and photos are a very lovely reflection of your feelings. Take care.

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  16. Kerry I am so sorry for your loss of your beautiful friend. Thank you for sharing your memories of Rose with us. She sounds like a very special lady. Hugs to you and your family xxx

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  17. What a beautiful tribute to your friend. Thank you for sharing it. Grace is a powerful thing to witness.

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  18. Beautiful words, sorry about your friend, too young, too soon. Was thinking of you yesterday, sad day for all of us, love Posie

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  19. What a gorgeous tribute to your friend dear Kerry. I have a friend just like Rose, one in a million.
    Millie ^_^

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  20. Such a beautiful post Kerry! I honestly have no words, just tears .... xx

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  21. Kerry how beautiful...and I know how you are feeling we just lost one of those gentle friends..on Wednesday night, not to cancer, but to pouring rain and two cars that could not see each other through it...so senseless!
    Lots of hugs xx

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  22. Dear Kerry,
    I am sorry to hear of your loss.
    What a beautiful tribute to your friend.
    May God hold you in his comforting arms.
    Kindly,
    Chris Ann
    treehouse.queen18(atyahoodotcom)

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  23. The loss of a nice person - that's a sorry day. Many kind thoughts to you, and to Rose's family.

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  24. What a beautiful, heartfelt tribute to a lovely friend. May your wonderful memories of Rose be of comfort to you.

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  25. life is fragile and short. it feels so unfair. you have written from your heart Kerry xox

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  26. What a bitter sweet post Kerry. Rose sounds like a beautiful lady.... wonderful memories for you and big hugs from me...Kym XOX

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  27. I am so sorry to hear this, sweetie. You have posted a beautiful tribute, and I think it's totally awesome that your dear friend used FB... even I don't use FB and I'm half her age ;)

    Hang in there, darling.

    xoxo

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  28. Lovely rememberance of your friend. May she rest in peace.

    Amy R.

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  29. Sorry to hear of your loss. Truly lovely post.

    Pam x

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  30. Just found your blog.. and am very touched by your post. Thinking of you...

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  31. What a lovely loving tribute to your gentle friend. Cancer is the worst!

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  32. Thanks Kerry for that lovely tribute to my sister, Rose. I must say I saw the none too gentle side of her when we were growing up, but it was all good fun and the usual sibling stuff.
    Even though the cancer had inhibited her ability to speak, she tried to tell me the name of the flowers that you and Jo had brought her that morning.
    I don't know if you saw Rose's last Facebook post but in it she nominated "The Boxer" by Simon and Garfunkel as a song that transports you and of which you never tire (in response to a call out by Normie Rowe), and hence we chose that song to lay her to rest.
    Margaret Blade

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  33. oh darl, i'm so sorry to read this, she sounds like a gorgeous person. it is hard to lose people too soon, there's no two ways around it, but hope you're finding happiness in your memories. beautiful post xxx

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  34. Kerry,
    sorry to hear about your friend. I too have a dear friend battling with a strong wit and a smile. she gives me hope each day to smile.
    pve

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