After a few weeks in intensive care, my dear friend has passed away from this earth. He taught me so much and we shared so many amazing and fun experiences. He was a truly wonderful friend, and one whom I had fully expected to grow old with. Really, there are no words to express what an immense loss I feel, how sad this time is for me, how shocked I am to know that he won't be ringing me up tonight or tomorrow or next week, and I won't be able to ring him either. Alas, this is to be expected - I am in the midst of the grieving process and feel alternately SO sad, then cheated, and yet happy in a way because I believe where he is is better than where we are - he has gone home.
If you are reading this, I respectfully ask for your prayers. For his family, for all of us who are left behind.
Yesterday we attended a beautiful wake and noon-time Mass in his honor, followed later in the day by a sunset sail to put his ashes in his the ocean off of Waikiki. As we left the dock, a bag-piper played Danny Boy and then Aloha 'Oe. The weather was gorgeous, and just before we put 'him' in the sea, we were blessed by a light rainfall and a DOUBLE rainbow.
We scattered flowers in the water , cried some tears and laughed at good memories and then toasted him with a bottle of Irish whiskey.
We stayed out to watch the sun set and canoe paddlers passed us by on their evening training runs, then headed back in. It was the most beautiful and perfect celebration of life I have ever witnessed or been a part of.
Sometimes in life something happens that feels like it alters who we are - this is one of those occasions for me. In the loss of my lifelong friend, it feels I have lost a part of myself. Gone too soon.
So, here is what may sound like a trite reminder, but please take it to heart. Reach out to those you love whom you assume will be there in the days, weeks, months and years to come. Give them a call. Send them an email. MAKE the time to be together. Life is short and people can leave when you least expect it.