Photo Credit to:  thegardeningblog.co.za
Photo Credit to: thegardeningblog.co.za

Today I read the post of a very dear blogger friend.  She is an unbelievably strong and resilient woman who is dying from congenital heart failure.  She is a medical professional who served her country bravely.  Sandra is married to an amazing man, and she loves his children dearly.  They are a great source of joy to her.

I have just re-read most of Sandra’s old posts.  It filled me with sadness reading her brave posts, an almost intellectual outlook on death… My friend is not a stranger to death.  As a medical professional she encountered death often.  Death in every form, indiscriminate of age, colour or creed.

Sandra posted : how to die? I have watched many die over the years and the range is as you would imagine. there were those that just could not let go and suffered every indignity to their body and soul. of course others went quietly with love around them. I have not decided if I want to be alone or with loved ones by my side. is there a way to make it easier for them? would they rather receive a phone call with the news or be at bedside? either way it will hurt them, not me of course as I am the one leaving. I would be lying if I said I don’t think of how I will miss so much. the thing is I have had so much, so much more than others and it seems selfish to complain. what they will go through is tremendous compared to what I will go through. I will sleep eternally and they will live. the best I can hope for them is peace of mind and future happiness. I want them to think of me and smile as I do now thinking of them.   http://thedrsays.org/2011/03/25/

When I read this post I recognised the same almost detached approach to death that Vic had…As emotionally intelligent people Vic and Sandra look at death and know that their loved ones are the ones who will suffer the loss.  Vic so often expressed her concern for her loved ones who would be left behind.  My friend does the same in her posts…

Sandra wrote:

I believe and hope that I will die with dignity,

we are not born with fear and so we can die without fear. I think a lot of us are not so much afraid of dying as we are of not being remembered. it is only human to hope that our kids will have some fond memory, our grandkids, friends and maybe even some people who just passed through on the way to somewhere else. I would like to think there will be some fond memories of me. Chris is going to have a memorial at our home (I think) for me. I have asked for a celebration of my life. remember me as I am a real person with some good some bad and some … that should maybe stay in the vault:)

http://thedrsays.org/2011/04/

Today she posted: “for tonight i am not going to lie to you. i feel death coming closer, i hear the bear growl.  at times i think i may see her but then she moves a little and we continue down this path.  the toxins are working their way through my body to the skin where they are sores that itch and bleed.  i have these toxins because my liver and kidneys are not working the way they should.  my liver is enlarged and causes great pain. it is like having the worst charlie horse you have ever experienced just under your ribcage on the right side of your body. of course the spleen takes up its chorus on the left side and the kidneys can be felt in more places than you think and may be different in different people.  i am so weak at times that just standing takes a monumental effort.  my arms and legs can turn to shaking jello.  sometimes my eyes won’t focus and my mind is hard to clear.  forget about reading or even looking at the temp control on the wall.”  http://thedrsays.org/2013/04/29/sex-lies-and-videotapes/

I am re-living Vic’s final journey with this precious, brave woman.

The purpose of my post is to thank Sandra for her friendship, support, guidance, compassion and advice over the past year.  Often when I vented about Vic being stubborn or ill Sandra would gently advise me from a terminally ill person’s point of view.  She opened my eyes to so much of my child’s emotions and personal struggle…  She knows because it is her journey too.

My friend is a medical professional and KNOWS what is happening in her body.  Vic knew too…

In November 2012 Vic started saying that death was close…she would not bounce back this time…and now my friend says “I feel death coming closer…”

Oh my friend what can I say?  I know the emotional agony that Vic went through when she was where you are now.  I wish I could give you some of my health.  I wish I could wave a magic wand, and you would have more time.  We both know I cannot do any of this.

Please know I hold you in my heart.  I am sad that your journey is almost over.  I am so sad for the dreadful pain you are in.  I hope you are having pro-active symptom control.

I want to thank you today whilst you are strong enough to hear my words. Thank you for your friendship, compassion and support over the past couple of months.

I think you are incredibly brave, and you remind me of Vic…Stubborn, compassionate, intelligent…amazing!  I hope that you will meet her when it is your time to cross over.  Please know that I treasure you as a dear friend.

I pray for a miracle, that you will have lots of time, pain-free days.  Know that you are loved and admired.  I wish we had met.

I am not saying goodbye – just thank you for being a wonderful friend

To all my blogger friends out there – please pray for Sandra and Chris….