Friday, 6 November 2009

Welcome Home















One of my dear friends Sandy died.

It always seems so strange that you can sit on a chair beside someone and within a week they are dead.

Sandy is from my support group. Last Tuesday when I went to talk to Jacquie’s pharmacist I saw Sandy and went to go sit with her ‘Oh Hello’ she sang to me. We sat outside in the lounge for about ten minutes and her Mom and I and Sandy talked. She told me she was going to see the doctor about radiation.

Sandy told me that she was feeling alright, but that the skin would not heal and that she now had holes over her chest. Holes where the cancer had eaten through the skin. Then she went on to say ‘Enough about me how is Jacquie?’

Sandy had a passion for cats. Sandy took the feral cats from a field by her home and raised them up and got them proper homes. For Sandy, heaven won’t be heaven without some cats.

My dear Donna emailed me the following about Sandy and I want you to hear it too, just so you get a wee picture of a very wee lady with a tiny bun on her head, a wee lady with the biggest heart and the singiest ‘Oh Hello’ you could ever hear.

“I read the email about Sandy, beautiful lady. I saw her last Tuesday sitting in the lobby at Cancer Care waiting to go to radiation for the open sores on her chest. I noticed her right away and knew she was really ill. Her skin was gray and her breathing laboured. First thing I did was give her a kiss on her forehead as I had come up behind her. She looked up a little startled but her eyes lit up when she recognized who kissed her. ‘Oh Hello’ she said. We chatted for a bit. She decided she was going to head for radiation so I went to group. My memory of her will always include her voice. Oh Hello. Just because she sings it when she was happy.”

Goodnight dear friend.

102 comments:

Linda said...

My favorite author, Joseph Campbell, wrote about the traditions of religious beliefs and the mythologies of the world. How they are the same underneath, whatever the story is that we hear. There is no one "meaning of life", in his opinion. There is rather joyous energy. What we seek is "the experience of being alive". For him, mythology was the "song of the universe", the "music of the spheres".
You heard it in Sandy's singing voice. We hear it in you.

Anonymous said...

Oh Renee,I am so sorry to hear about Sandy. Another loss in so short a time. My prayers are with you and your support group as you grieve together.I so want to give you a big hug. Love, Barb

studio lolo said...

I'm sure she'll be greeted by many singing felines as they purr and mew "oh, hello" as only they can.

I'm sorry you lost a friend.
Blessings to her family and to Sandy for a peaceful journey.

xoxoxo
Lolo

Annie said...

Renee, I am so sorry. Sandy sounds like a wonderful lady. She still lives, you just can't see her anymore. Big hugs and Big love today. XOXO

Artistic Accents by Darla said...

I'm so sorry Renee, for yet another loss you've had to endure. God bless Sandy and her family♥
It's supposed to be a beautiful, warmer than usual weekend here. Hope you get the same :)
Love, Darla

Arija said...

Sandy has gone home. I know, those who knew her miss her but Sandy's sores are healed and she has been made whole now. Those who go are really the winners, it is those who stay behind who suffer their loss.
With love and light and big hugs too, xox Arija

Silke said...

I'm so sorry about your friend! I love what you said about her singing her hellos - I am sure she's singing even more where she is now! And I am certain many sweet kitties were there to greet her!! Much, much love to you, dearest Renee! Silke

momcat said...

It is surreal and unreal when you lose someone unexpectedly and suddenly. I have experienced it already this year. Our messenger, who I have known since 2004, just turned 60, full of life, developed heart problems, decided not to get it treated but to trust God to heal him, carried on working, didn't take sick leave, died suddenly. I still feel him around me as if he has just gone on an errand. Condolences on your loss but happines for ever after for Sandy who is not gone to a place without pain.

Sophia said...

I have not heard of Joseph Campbelll, but I will most certainly check it out. :)

I am very sorry to hear of the loss of your friend. My heart goes out to you and her family. I have another blogger friend who was recently diagnosed with cancer and started treatment this week as well. Heartbreaking.

I hope you know I am here for you, for whatever you need. You've touched my life in an incredible way. Hugs!

Sarah said...

I'm sorry to hear about Sandy Renee. She sounds lovely.I bet there will be cats wherever she is. They must have loved her a lot too.xx

Deborah said...

Oh Lovee, I cannot begin to imagine being you and suffering so much loss. I am so very sorry and yet that sounds so trite. It gives cause to wonder how much loss the human heart can bear, and yet, there you are, every day, doing what Love requires. All my love to you, Deb

Marion said...

I'm sorry to hear about the death of your beloved friend. Life is so fleeting...Sending you Hugs, Love & Blessings, my guardian angel-friend!

Doris Sturm said...

I'm so sorry Renee..."life is but a dream, sweetheart" - it goes so quickly and remains a memory...a song in our hearts, just like your friend Sandy.

Bless you,
Doris

Meghann LittleStudio said...

I am very sorry to hear of your loss. Sandy sounds like she was a real light, just like you are to us.
Where she is now, there are no cancers or holes, but health and many, many cats :)
Hugs and prayers to you,
Meg

karen gerstenberger said...

I'm so sorry to hear that your friend has passed, but the way you write (of her going "home") makes it gentler to hear the news. I pray for comfort for you, for her family, and for all who know and love her. She sounds like a lovely soul who will enjoy heaven - with cats. XOXO

Ruth said...

Oh hello. And now oh good-bye to Sandy, whom I didn't meet, and now she's gone.

Sarah said...

May her journey be joined by her sweet feline friends. May it be peaceful and full of wonderful "Oh Hellos".
I am sending you gentle hugs Renee..can you feel them? I love your hon! Hugs and love , Sarah

deepazartz said...

Its so sad, you lost a friend. My prayers are there too with you, Sandy and her family and all her friends.
It is nice to read about someone you haven't met and still feel for them.
May God give 'us' all the strength to endure.

Marie S said...

I am so sorry for your hurting heart. Sandy now sings to everyone in heaven.

As I stand at the threshold of the steps of heaven... the gates open wide. I can hear singing on high, beautiful melodic notes that sooth my soul. I can rest there and let the notes relieve my pain and sorrow.
As a presence, so maginificent yet demure, comes floating up to me, a small caravan of felines adorn her skirt and float near her feet and purr with love and complete comfort.
The sound of laughter fills the air and it is like baby , the purest, untainted laughter, and the woman with the small bun on her head turns her eyes towards me and sings "Oh Hello" like she is thrilled to see me and has been expecting me and is so delighted I made it.
I walk with this loving, gentle being in to the grace of my new life and drop the shroud of heaviness from my other life... and it is good!!"

yoborobo said...

Oh, Renee - I am so sorry. She sounds like a wonderful soul. I love the way she sang that out, I could hear it when you wrote it. What a nice way to be remembered, as someone who sang their hello to a friend. :) Much love to you - xoxoxo Pam

Ces said...

We are all going to die so it is important that we make our lives matter so that when we are gone we continue to give comfort to those we loved and left behind, like Sandy still does for you.

Julie said...

I'm sorry about your loss of such a true and lovely person. I'm always praying for you and dear Jacquie. May each day bring you a little something to smile at with your sweet and brave Jacquie dear friend. xxxxx

Debra She Who Seeks said...

Sandy sounds like a lovely person, just like all cat-people. Haven't met a bad one yet!

Deborah said...

Renee, you know how much I love, so please do not think I am being harsh, BUT, I already have the cabin next to Junie's!!! MINE MINE MINE! ♥ ♥ ♥ Deb

Elizabeth said...

Renee, I'm so sorry for your loss of your friend. It just doesn't seem to stop -- I have no other words than the Italian ones my father always says to me: Molte forte e corragio (and that's some bad spelling but translates, roughly, into much strength and courage).

Manon Doyle said...

So sorry about your friend Sandy. She will now sing with the angels. Lovely the way you remembered her Renee!

Love,
manon
xo

Coastal Sisters said...

I am sorry to hear about your friend Sandy. I do love this artwork of the cats...so colorful.

Much love to you and your support group,
LuLU~*xoxo

Camille said...

Hi So sorry about your friend Sandy. I love all the love, encouragement & prayers your Blogger friends always send to you & our family. A big Thankyou to all of you. I really liked the comment today from Marie S it is so comforting.

Deborah said...

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥♥ ♥ ♥ ♥♥ ♥ ♥ ♥♥ ♥ ♥ ♥♥ ♥ ♥ ♥♥ ♥ ♥ ♥♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ Deb

Julie said...

What a touching tribute to such a sweet lady. There definitely are a lot of cats in need of love (and ready to give love) where she is now.

Marie S said...

I am only reflecting the love that you wrote about, the spirit that is Sandy! That is the image your words said to me.
Love and hugs, my pretty.

YayaOrchid said...

I'm so sorry for this loss Renee. My prayers are with you.

Marie S said...

Now my heart is bursting with joy!

TERI REES WANG said...

Bless Sandy.
Bless her all the way home.

Bless you Renee.
Bless you here in the body you own.

Be well.

TERI REES WANG said...

Renee: HayHouseRadio.com

has speaking about the grieving process a lot just lately.

You could listen in.

Noreen said...

Sandy, we'll miss. It was almost three weeks ago that I spoke with her last. I to (as always) was greeted with the "oh hi" and a big smile. Always cheerful, no matter what is going on within her body.

She is the one who began remembering milestones, like birthdays. Always showing up, at group, with a card for everyone, to write a note to the recipient. Thus began our now celebrated milestone each month.

Sandy was the one that that wrote the tribute about "Sweet Unique Pink Roses" that is read at each service of the women who have gone before us. She also made sure that each of us had a single "Sweet Unique" rose for each of us to place by the urn/casket/grave site of our special friend at some point in the service.

Sandy was always thoughtful and mindful of all those around her. Truly, anyone who had the honor of meeting her, has been blessed.

Thank you Sandy for all you were and continue to be in our hearts.

Wine and Words said...

I'm so sorry. What to say...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tlbRNGWseBM&feature=related

((Hugs)) Renee.

glorv1 said...

Oh boy Renee. So sorry for your loss. Thoughts and prayers are with you.

pinkglitterfae said...

Oh no, when will this end?

we can send a man to the moon, but can't cure cancer yet? what the hell!


may she rest in peace

((hugs dear Renee))

betty

soulbrush said...

oh renee, what a sad post, yet the little joy she brought into each person's life when she sang out' oh hello' will live with you all forever. and after all isn't that just about enough? love you dear one.xxxx

clairedulalune said...

So sorry to hear your news about Sandy, Renee. ((Hugs))

Jaliya said...

May Sandy be suffused with purrs ...

(((tears)))

xoxo

Angela Recada said...

Oh, dearest Renee, I am so, so sorry. Even when you expect it, it comes as a shock.

I am glad for you, that you were able to see your dear Sandy and spend some time with her recently. To hear her cheery hello, which still echoes in your ears and your heart.

The words of all the others who commented before me are all so lovely. Linda's words about Joseph Campbell are especially wise.

You are well-loved, dear one, and you love well.

My thoughts and prayers and heart go out to all who love Sandy. Her pain is over. She is home.

Be good to yourself.

Love and hugs, and more love and hugs,
XOXOXO
Angela

Great-Granny Grandma said...

I'm so sorry, Renee.

Kolleen said...

Sweet Renee I am so sorry for your loss. I hope you feel all the arms that are wrapping so tightly around you from ALL over the place! you are loved.

Nevine said...

Renee, I'm not so sure anything that can be said will suffice, right now. But know that I'm thinking about you, and as for Sandy, you have lost her physically, but she's still out there, and will always be with you.

Nevine

staceyjwarner said...

Lovely post. I'm sorry for your loss. Sandy is at peace now. Her spirit free without the tethers of this mortal coil (for now).

Much love to her and to you and all those angels around you circling your head.

much love

TheChicGeek said...

Renee, I'm so sorry for your loss of Sandy. She sounds like she was a wonderful and brave person. I don't think you could have picked a prettier or more cheerful picture for a woman that loves cats. I believe Sandy is smiling at this!
Puuurrrrrrfect! :)

I came to wish you a healthy and love-filled weekend. You are always in my heart and prayers, Renee. You are a very special person.
Love,
Kelly
PS: My sister is doing even better today than yesterday! I think the doctors have figured out the proper meds for her and she is on the road up :) At this time the doctors are hopeful and positive that she is going to be okay!
Love to You, Renee :) Thank you for your prayers for me too.

melissa said...

Thank you for sharing her with us. My heart is yours.

Mim said...

Joseph Campbells work is wonderful, but oh Renee - you must be so sick of losing your loved ones and friends. Lovely that you remember her "oh hello" - that is something to aspire to.
Much love and thoughts to you Mim

Rebecca Ramsey said...

I'm so sorry, Renee. She sounds like a beautiful soul.
I'm sending you a big hug.

*jean* said...

ooo dear renee, i am so sorry....

Angela Recada said...

I will always make time to visit you and see how you are doing, dear heart.

Love you,
xoxoxo
Angela

Julie-ann Bowden said...

Renee, this poor lady, with holes in her chest. She sound a very caring, warm hearted and very brave lady.
I felt very angry while reading this post. Angry that this lady had to suffer this way. How could I do anything with my anger? Just respect her and glad she has no pain now.
Bless you Renee.

I haven't looked back at my emails yet. Certainly will and hopefully be able to start your painting through this next week.
Bless you and your family!

All my love!

Julie

sanda reynolds Mullingar,Ireland said...

I'm so sorry, sweet Renee, for losing such a nice friend. The painting is fabulous, I love it!
Thank you so much for your lovely comment, it means a lot to me!
Lots of love,
Sanda xx

secret agent woman said...

Oh my, I'm so sorry about Sandy. She sounds like a delightful peron and I know you'll miss her.

suziart said...

Oh, Renee, you have had so much grief and loss in your life...I really do not know how you do it. I guess you do it because you have to.

Bless your friend, Sandy, and may the angels welcome her and our precious animals with open arms full of love with no pain or suffering!

Xo!
SuZi

Angie Muresan said...

Renee,
I am so very sorry for your loss. My mom too has cancer and every extra day with her is a blessing I am thankful for. What a lovely tribute to your friend.

Dede said...

Oh Renee, I am so sorry...Sandy sounds like a delightful person to want to be around. It would appear that she has touched so many lives in a positive way, like you my friend. Gentle hugs to all of her friends and family.

(((HUGS)))

Ribbon said...

Shit Renee it never seems to rain unless it pours :(

I have a very beautiful friend who was part of a cancer support group when she first got cancer in her early twenties... everyone died in her group... it wasn't very supportive... but we have now celebrated her 39th birthday and she was not expected to be around beyond 6 months.
She's a living angel.

Anyway not sure what that's got to do with the price of fish.... but I love you and am sorry that you have had to say goodbye to another loved one.
I too know a lot of dead people and they are still wonderful companions in a very different yet real way.

xxx gotta go
see ya Ribbon :)

zoe said...

i'm so sorry, renee. my cats sent her representation, she will be well-cared for (we have 14, and they're very fat, so they carry a lot of weight, :D).
big hugs for you--

vintage moon studio said...

Prayers of comfort are being lifted for the family and friends of your dear friend Sandy. xo Deb

Tom Bailey said...

Renee,

Kindest regards,
Thank you for sharing.

Tom Bailey

kj said...

So sorry Renee. When I'm gone I hope there is something like sandy's joyful voice that is remembered about me

cancer sure deepens and quickens love...

xoxoxo

lakeviewer said...

Dear Renee, Linda here says it best. We are seeking the song that tells us we are alive, that our life has meaning. May your friend Sandy rest in peace, having known good people and loving companions around her.

jacquie said...

many times when i drove renee to group at cancer care, i would always be right behind sandy's mom's car... i always said hi to sandy and waved to her mom as she drove off.
even as her death was imminent she was caring enough to ask about me..
sandy please give some of that love to sheldon for me when you meet him ... you will be deeply missed by renee and all who were lucky to have met you. rest easy as you are welcomed by those who have gone before you .
jacquie

Karin Bartimole said...

A beautiful tribute to your friend Renee, I am sorry for your loss, and the loss felt by all who loved Sandy and will miss her. She sounds like a beautiful soul that sang to the end of her time here and must still be singing her greeting Hello where ever she goes. much love to you, Karin

sweetmango said...

Just the thought of Sandy makes me sMiLe .... as a fellow cat rescuer I felt a strong sisterhood toward her immediately. Her whole life attitude sounds like a song not just her greeting.
I love you for sharing these beautiful people with us. I stack them up in my heart so that whenever I have the need I can reach inside of myself and find something to smile about.
I love you so very much
and Jacquie too.
xxme

Draffin Bears said...

Dearest Renee.

Sorry to hear about your sweet friend Sandy. May she be at rest and peace now, surrounded by lots of cats.

Thoughts, love and prayers, for you and Jacquie.

Hugs
Carolyn

Bella Sinclair said...

"Oh, hello. But enough about me." I can almost hear her sing-songy greetings. I'm so sorry, dear Renee. I will whisper her name tonight in my prayers, and hope that her family finds comfort in knowing that she is free.

Beautiful painting, dearest.

Baino said...

Oh fuckit to Friday Renee . . .So sorry darling. You know it's going to happen but it's so horrible when it does. Amazing how people in such dire straits can be cheerful, I guess it's because you're all kindred spirits, you're all going through the same experience. Even my poor dad, yellow with jaundice thanks to his liver cancer managed a cheerful greeting when he looked like death warmed up. Brave souls, God bless and keep her. I just saw the Time Traveller's wife and tears are flowing freely tonight, it's not taking much to set me off . . .so I'm going to watch Monsters vs Aliens and try to cheer up. Big hugs possum. @ Arija, I so wish I could think the way you do. . .

RNSANE said...

Sandy leaves this earth but not the hearts of those who cherish her. I am sad that the world won't hear her singing voice any more but it still sings in good memories. I like hearing about wonderful people and lament that these kind folks have to suffer.

A warm embrace to you.

Loredana said...

It's always a nice thing when you remember your firends through the pleasent moments and through the beautiful memories you have about them. Isn't it the way we would like to be remembered???

Anil P said...

Dear Renee, very sorry to hear about Sandy.

She'll have known the joy she brought to those whose lives she touched, and if anything, that will remain with her, to know she was loved, appreciated, and cherished.

Bailey said...

I'm so sorry to hear about your friend Sandy, Renee.
Many hugs and kisses.
Love Bailey xox

Debbie said...

Hello Renee, and I am so sorry to hear of your friend. Our hope in the Lord, is that we will see those who have gone a head of us. I pray you will hear Sandy's hello's again.

LDWatkins said...

I'm so glad she got to see you before she went. Her song is added to all the voices out there loving it when we catch a note now and then. Bless you. Hugs

Caroline said...

Sending a big hug your way, Renee - I echo many of the thoughts and wishes here. x

Alicia @ boylerpf said...

I am so sorry at the loss of your friend. May she be greeted in Heaven with a big Oh Hello in a lilt like none other...

rochambeau said...

Sandy has a beautiful soul. My prayers for her family. May we all take a piece of her with us, as we salute one another through out our day with a joyful hello!
Love to you.
How sorry I am Renee for your loss.
Constance

rochambeau said...

PS
Hope Sandy and Mary can be with one another! The thought makes me happy.

miruspeg said...

That is one of the most beautiful pictures I have ever seen Renee.
Sandy will love it.
What a wonderful soul she was.
Loved reading the story about her beautiful "Oh hello" singing voice.
Take care always
Big hugs
Peggy xxxx

mermaid said...

You have the most sacred and beautiful eulogies here. You commemmorate each soul with a special blessing.

Welcome home, Sandy.

Misha Lulu said...

I pray to God that my cats will go to heaven.

I think heaven should be everything we love and everything we love to do.

I am sorry about the loss of your friend.

Chris said...

My condolences to you for your loss.

Mother's Moon's Message said...

I am sorry for the loss of your friend, yet it seems that she left you some precious moments to remember her by... ones smile, ones laugh... it is a truly good way to combat the sorry and heaviness that can sometimes attack... such strength such poise. thank you so for sharing sandys story.

Momo Luna said...

So sorry to read about Sandy.
I wish you strength, take care sweet lady, hugs and xxx.

Debra said...

Another loss dear friend and the weight of it hangs heavy in my heart for you. So much to endure, and such beautiful people. I have had it said to me that God only gives you as much as you can handle. My reply would be "enough already".
I hope she finds peace and of course I believe she has Cats in heaven. How could creatures who are so loyal and loving not be there? I am so sorry for you loss, but she left you with her sweet song.

Sydney said...

Renee, I'm so sorry. It IS so weird that someone can be here then gone. It really makes you question what's real and what just appears to be. I wonder what secrets we will learn in spirit form about these kind of things. IF we will ever. Much to ponder there, but then the floor needs sweeping and the bills have come in the mail and dinner needs to be made and we are back to what seems real...

I often struggle with duality. But enjoy the process of it I guess.

Daria said...

I'm sorry to hear about Sandy. It sounds like she was a wonderful lady. How unfair.

nollyposh said...

i know such feelings too (((hugs))) to you my friend x

Inner Toddler said...

sending you love and support renee. and thank you for a dose of perspective. always appreciated. life is so fragile. love to you. xox susie

BT said...

I'm so sorry for the loss of your dear friend Sandy. At least she is now at peace and hopefully surrounded by cats. One of my cats is called Sandy. ~hugs~

Lizzy Frizzfrock said...

Renee, I'm so sorry. You have been through so much. I hope you will find peace in all the kind words from your friends. Lizzy

ToM KiDDo said...

my sympathies...I'm so sorry about Sandy..May she rest in peace :(

Snowbrush said...

Renee, I'm so sorry that your friend, Sandy, died.

Kelly Lish said...

Hi Renee-I'm sorry about Sandy. I don't understand why you have to keep saying goodbye to those you love. I know there is a reason, I just don't understand why, and I wish I could just give you the most giant, love filled hug.
My Grandmother was one of those people that had to say goodbye too many times in her life. She lost her husband (my Fathers Dad) when her two boys were just kids. He died of emphazema Then she lost her oldest son (my Dads older brother, and only brother). He was in a flight training session for the Navy, and his plane crashed. He was only in his early twenties. I never met my Grandfather or Uncle. They both died before I was born. Later on in her life, she remarried and he died. She remarried again and he (the man I knew as Grandpa Jack) died of lung cancer. It is just too much for one person to bear, besides all the friends she lost over the years due to old age and disease. She was so strong and always happy. She could knit a whole city if she really wanted too. Her and I were really close, and I admire her still to this day. I hope someday, when your time comes to go to heaven, that you will meet her. She was wonderful. Her name is Mildred Campbell. She will be the one in heaven that is knitting and has a million dogs and cats all around her. :) Please take some comfort that my Grandmother is there and loves cats too, so maybe her and Sandy are friends already :)
Love to you Renee.

flossy-p said...

Oh Renee, I'm so sorry to hear about Sandy. You've left a lovely tribute to her here. She sounds like a really special lady. May she be snuggled up with affectionate kitties somewhere, purring and sing-songing away.

Debra Kay said...

I am sure there are glorious cats in heaven-I know some of them and I know they'll be looking up Sandy soon.

yoon see said...

Sorry to hear this bad new, Renee.
It's so sad that a dear friend so close pass away witnout notice.
This bring to thought that we must always cherish our friends with love, care and support.
We live life only once:)

Woman in a Window said...

I.can.not.get.my.mind.around.things.like.this.

Neither her beauty, or the world's loss of it.

xo
erin

ArtPropelled said...

This post is so beautifully written Renee. So sorry to read about your friend.