Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Her Funeral Was Today

Back in March, when my dad was in Surrey Hospital for 5 weeks, and they had that Code Orange crisis, Sandra's friend, Mel was also in the hospital. My dad had just been moved up to the surgical ward (only place they had room) and Mel was camping out in an ER hallway while they did tests.

She had gone to the hospital for abdominal pain, and after one week of testing, it was determined that she had cancer.

She endured chemo and whatnot, but was feeling out of sorts in June, so her doctor suggested she go back to the hospital to get an IV of fluids as she was severely dehydrated. And it was then, while she was getting hydrated that they told her she had two weeks left to live. They moved her across the street and into paliative care.

Sandra visited her on the Thursday before the long weekend and she was OK. Smiling, laughing, conversing... "All I know about death, is what I see portrayed in the movies. She does not look like she's dying. How can the doctor's say it's going to be in 2 weeks? How do they know?"

Her and I were camping in the states, on our way to the mini golf course when the phone call came. Mel had passed away on Sunday evening, three days after Sandra's visit.

She was 34 years old. Never married.
When she left her condo to get hydrated, she didn't know she'd never be back. She didn't know she'd have 2 weeks to live and those 2 weeks were going to be spend in a wing of the hospital filled with dying people.

I can't imagine.

She's been on my mind for weeks. And today? All day, my thoughts kept going back to her.
Today was Mel's funeral.

There is no doubt she's in Heaven with Jesus, so her funeral would have been a celebration of a life well lived. And I know I'm going to heaven. So that's not what's bothering me.

It's the things you leave behind for someone else to clean up. It's not like any of us get advance notice or anything. But still. There are things you don't want, say, your kids rummaging through. I feel this need to get rid of ratty underwear, obsolete files, and the items in my junk drawer. I know this doesn't make sense, I just have this dread of dying and leaving a mess behind.

Three things I'm thankful for:
1. I don't know when I'm going to die.
2. I do know where I'm going when I do.
3. I'll get to meet Mel in heaven. And we can chat about stuff.


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