Saying Goodbye

As I sit here writing this post, I find myself holding my breath; afraid to breathe because the pain is so intense and profound. This has been a difficult year; a year of loss and change. Change, I tell myself, is often a good thing. While it may be painful or uncomfortable initially, with time its effects are usually for the better. And while you can look at loss as a part of change, here I am talking about the deep, painful loss of someone you love and is an everyday part of your life. If you have never lost anyone in your life like this, please know that someday you will.

Yesterday, August 11, 2017, we lost such a person. Bob and AnnMarie have been a part of our life for more than 30 years; my husband’s best friend, buddy, confidante and compadre. A man we loved, honored and respected in every possible way. A man we turned to for advice, counsel, fun and laughter. A man of the highest integrity, principle, and compassion. There aren’t enough words to describe his character and the long reaching effect and influence he has had on so many people. To know Bob, was to love him.

But the intense pain isn’t just about the passing of this strong, wonderful man; its about the hole that is left in so many lives…his wife, daughter, grandchildren, family, and the hundreds of people who called him friend. I look at our own lives, my husband and me, and see this large, gapping hole that bleeds so profusely I can’t even imagine how it will ever heal. It is true what they say about death being painful for the ones left behind; for this is a pain I wish for no one.

It is during these moments you realize the frailty of life and how fortunate you are or have been. You look at your loved ones and pray you never devastate them in this same way…knowing full well it will happen one day. I look at Bob’s family and what lies ahead of them and pray I never have to face that…recognizing I’ve been fortunate, but it could just as easily be me.

Since January, 2016, as a family we have suffered a great deal of personal loss. 5 weeks ago we lost our favorite and treasured Uncle, another humble and honorable man, and of course our wounds are still quite raw and open from that. But losing Bob has taken us over the top. How does one recover?

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