Liralen Li (liralen) wrote,
Liralen Li
liralen

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In Memory

Angie, the friend I visited around Christmas time went into hospice two weeks later, and died two weeks ago, peacefully dying after just a day or two's unresponsiveness. Her memorial service was yesterday. It was crowded, and filled with people who hadn't been to our church for a while, and it was so good to see everyone gathered in her name.

She had planned the entire service, in her fearless way. It included speeches from her sons, her husband, one of his sons, and a dear friend of both of ours; the reading was the one about love in Corinthians, which was used in my wedding; and ended it with a rousing rendition of the Village People's "YMCA". It was very much her. The luncheon was fabulous, and the weather defied the predictions that it would start to snow in earnest soon after noon, it waited until after the last of the lunch was cleaned up, and people were home. At 2 pm, wind-driven Gulf clouds whipped into the Front Range from the east, and driven upslope, proceeded to dump a good eight inches of snow.

Today, only the intrepid made it into church, and of those that did, several needed to tell their stories about Angie, too, and I had to sit down with the friend who had done the speech the previous day to just hug her and listen and be present for her as she mourned. John had a similar experience with someone else.

I talked with someone else who has a sister with ovarian cancer, and how that sister is living life for all she's worth. "We're all dying anyway, but some of us just know it's going to be sooner than we'd like," he said. And he is right in a certain sense. Enjoy the ones you love while you can. That's important.

I cried a little during the memorial service, but not a lot. I'd had three crying jags already with respect to Angie, and one of them was just a few days ago, while I was painting six-panel doors for someone's basement. I'd really gotten to know her, the first time, during one of the Biloxi mission trips; and construction work just reminds me of her. The thing that struck me the hardest was my utter gratitude that I'd gotten to see her before Christmas. And it was only then that I realized that what made everything all right was that when I saw her, when I had to leave, we got to say to each other, "I love you."

That made it all right, in a way. I still miss her.

But it's all right.
Tags: death, life, love, thankful
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