Sunday, December 11, 2011

To My Friend ~ One Year Later

You can read To My Friend written on December 17, 2010 here:

"Death ends a life, not a relationship." ~ Robert Benchley

It has been almost one year since you left us my friend. I have been thinking about you a lot lately, especially as we get ready for another Christmas Cantata.  As December approached this year, I found it very difficult to think about the events that happened at this time last year. It felt like I was mourning you all over again, although to a lesser degree. But that has changed over the past week. I gave myself the time and the space I needed to grieve again and now I am  remembering the good times. When I think of asparagus and copper pennies, I cannot help but smile. As next weekend approaches, I just want to remember you with smiles and with laughter. I think that is how you would want it.

Mary sits in your choir seat now. It seemed like the right thing to do after your memorial service...the healthy thing to do. Sometimes when I look at that chair, I remember how your choir robe was gently laid over it with the photo that Chuck took; which was how we had it for the Cantata last year. I try to sit next to or as close as I can to Mary, as much as possible. I know it sounds strange but somehow sitting in that seat next to where you used to sit makes me feel closer to you.

You would be so happy with the choir. Most of us that joined with you, Alex, Tom, and Meaghan for the Christmas Cantata last year are still singing together a year later. Many of us never intended for our choir commitment to extend past the Cantata but in true Kathy form, you brought us all together and we couldn't break that circle apart.  Plus your gentle persuasion on Carla paid off. She was not only our choir director for six months while Dan was away, but she sings with us now that Dan is back. Thank you for bringing her talent and her special friendship to our church. She has been such a blessing.

For the longest time, it was so difficult for me to go over to the house after you left us. It didn't seem right that you weren't there. I would cry all the way home the first few times I was there but gradually, it got easier. Without even intending to I think, Harry made it easier because he was so open about your passing and about how things felt different. It helps to be able to talk about it. Mary and I went to the house last weekend and helped Harry put the Christmas tree up. I felt like in a small way, we were honoring you by doing that. Instead of mourning you, we were celebrating you; especially with all of those purple Christmas decorations! It helped me be more at peace. I hope it did for your family as well.

You were taken from us way too soon at too young an age.Your death has given me pause about what is truly important in life. I try to remember that when I am feeling beaten down by life or when I am facing obstacles that seem too difficult. I remind myself that in a blink of an eye, it can all be taken away. Not only my life, but the lives of those around me. So I try to be more patient, forgiving, and tolerant. I remember to cherish my days and not squander them.

I still struggle once in a while with the singing when my health problems are flaring up. It happened again very recently, but you were with me. I remember your words from last year, clearly in my mind, like it was yesterday. You encouraged me to work hard and beat the odds to be able to sing. And when I didn't think I was good enough, you believed in me because you knew that like you, the music was in my heart.

Thank you for your faith in me.

Thank you for your friendship.

Thank you for your love.

You are always in our hearts.


  1. Thank you for helping me remember and mourn, Christine. As is usually the case, your heart beats in rhythm with the life of our church community. It is good to hear it pounding out loud through your writing.

  2. What a beautiful tribute to your friend..... How lucky she was to have you as a friend, and you her...

  3. Well expressed time for grieving the loss of a loved one. Somehow we need to get thru it and this is a good way. Love it. Harriet

  4. This is a hard time in so many ways. I am grateful that your gift puts so many of my emotions right in front of me, where I have to read it, and absorb it, and feel it fully. Thank you for your kind words. We can thank Kathy for bringing us together. The choir now has an unstoppable bond and we have much to look forward to.

  5. Thank you for the feedback. It means a lot to me, especially at this time, to know that my words can make a difference to someone else besides myself.