Saturday, February 20, 2010

Saying Goodbye

The last two weeks have been difficult at the Domrese household. Dan and I have been searching for the right way to deal with the loss of a friend. We met Quincy and his wife Jane, and daughter Jayna when I was doing my classes to convert to Catholicism. We were a tight group with a lot of small kids and bonded fast. Quincy lost his battle to cancer two weeks ago and left Dan and I searching emotionally for how to deal with the loss of someone so young. The boys are trying to grasp their friend losing a "daddy." Friday night we went to the funeral vigil. We took all kids so the boys could say good-bye and gain a little understanding of the process. The boys asked tons and tons of questions on the way. We went through how when you die every single part of the body is no longer working. And I mean they wanted to check every single little part, down to the belly button. They wanted to know about heaven and God. They wanted information on the body and decomposition. It was a lot of information and discussion for two little boys. At the vigil, little Jayna lost it. She was led out by a family friend to the back. Thomas was immediately upset and I led him back. We played with her a little and soon all kids were better.

Today at the funeral (we took the girls, but left the boys with Dan's parents) Jayna was again upset. Nothing is more heartbreaking than watching a two-year old cry at her daddy's funeral. Dan and I just teared up and hugged the girls closer, wanting to draw Jayna and Jane in as well. It's hard to say good-bye. It's hard to think we are old enough to lose a friend, a peer, a special person in this world. The poem in the program leads us to where we will go from here:

The Dash
I read of a man who stood to speak
at the funeral of a friend.
He referred to the dates on his tombstone
from the the end.
He noted that first came the date of his birth
and spoke of the following date with tears
but he said what mattered most of all
was the dash between those years.
For that dash represents all the time
that he spent alive on earth.
And now onl those who loved him
know what that little line is worth.
For it matters not how much we own:
the cars...
the house...
the cash...
What matters is how we live and love...
and how we spend our dash.
So think about this long and hard;
are there things you'd like to change?
For you never know how much time is left
that can still be rearranged.
If we could just slow down enough
to consider what's true and real
and always try to understand
the way other people feel
and be less quick to anger
and show appreciation more
and love the people in our lives
like we've never loved before.
If we treat each other wish respect
and more often wear a smile
remembering that this little dash
might only last a little while.
So when your eulogy is being read...
with your life's actions to rehash
would you be proud of the things they say
about how you spent your dash?
-Sue Ellis

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