Thursday, June 2, 2011

I Remember

June 2, 2011 - Today marks the third anniversary of Lorraine succumbing to that horrible disease, cancer. I thought it would be a good time to share a few thoughts about loss and remembrance.
People including myself always wonder what to say when someone is terminally ill or someone has lost another. Maybe I can help you with a few answers. I used to shy away from those who had lost a loved one because I didn’t know what to say. I now know better. Guess what? Try saying “I never know what to say”. Realistically what you say is irrelevant and for the most the actual words are meaningless to the person. It is not the words that comfort them because there really is no magic phrase that will make them feel better. It is the fact that you acknowledge their loss that gives them a little boost.

As far as terminal illness goes, believe it or not the most ridiculous question is the best to ask. “How are you?” It seems stupid but we heard that question every time we visited the cancer clinic and it helps both the sick person and the one asking. If they answer “Fine” it means, “I feel horrible today and I don’t want to talk about it right now.” In that case change the subject. If they are having a “good” day, they will tell all about how they are doing. In that case encourage them to talk about their illness

Finally, I’d like to give some advice to others that have suffered the loss of a loved one. He or she wants you to go on living each day to its fullest. Just because you are enjoying your new life doesn’t disrespect their memory in fact by not you may be disrespecting them. They will always be on your mind and the hurt will never go away but as you heal you will find that even the tears that sneak down your cheeks will meet the curled lip of a smile as you remember all the good times.

Although I continue to move forward with my life, I will always honour Lorraine’s memory. As many of my regular Facebook followers know, I make it a special point during all my adventures to find a beautiful place to leave some of her ashes. And of course, the Pink Hat will travel with me until it’s completely threadbare. (The picture shown is from Lake Tahoe where we were married)

As far as remembering me when I’m gone, I have set aside instructions in my will that a party be thrown and for every one of you to rejoice in knowing that I got to know was a great honour for me. I also want you to remember that it isn’t officially a party until the police report is filed so go nuts! Note: I have no plans on leaving anytime soon. I plan on irritating you for a long time to come.

Thank you and enjoy the rest of your day here in the Magic Kingdom. Oh crap, wrong theme park! ;-)