The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #21672   Message #231786
Posted By: catspaw49
22-May-00 - 11:14 AM
Thread Name: BS: Shaking Death
Subject: RE: BS: Shaking Death
I have lost two of the best friends anyone could have in the past ten years and I miss them both everyday.

Alan was only 42 when he died of a massive heart attack. We had not seen each other in awhile but kept in touch regularly. His first wife, Kay, and Alan and I had bought two homes together in Chattanooga and Nashville. Nothing kinky, we were all very inseparable trio. After I married we remained the best of friends until Alan had a mid-life crisis about a year before he died. With no warning at all, he tols Kay he wanted a divorce and moved out. He soon married another woman and became very removed from both Kay and myself. About 6 months later he died and his new wife didn't tell anyone from his "past life" (including his mother) until about a month later. He had started to open up to me a bit just before this and I was hoping things could go on. I will never know. Kay and I were both devastated. I have no closure with Alan and I never will. The closest I came was one morning sitting in the kitchen drinking morning coffee, something he and I used to do everyday. I had a long "talk" with Alan and told him both how pissed I was and also how much I loved him and missed him.

Denny Smith was a "true friend." He fought off cancer for a number of years but we knew it would eventually take him. We had worked together for many years in the past and had remained best friends through the ensuing years. He was the most responsible man I ever knew. He asked me to speak a few words at his funeral about 6 months before he died. His wife, also a good friend, was in a lot of denial and Denny also asked that when the time came, to help her as best I could to make the "right decisions." On his last day he was comatose and in great pain, even with the morphine. The nurses had been explaining the dying process well to Sue and she was understanding, but still held on to that glimmer of hope. She came to me in the hallway and asked if she was doing the right thing. I paid back some of my many debts to Denny when I told her it was time to let him go. We walked into the room and she laid next to him and talked to him quietly as I left and shut the door. I kept the rest of the crowd out of the room and Sue came out about 30 minutes later....Denny was gone.

I spoke for about 20 minutes to the very large crowd at his funeral and had the group laughing for most of the time as I told stories on us. We all left feeling good....we had celebrated a great life. I hadn't really prepared anything specific, so it was easy to work in a story about how responsible he was. About an hour before the funeral, his daughter Jody gave me an envelope. In it was a good-bye from Den, and also a "Thank You" for the funeral service. Once again, he'd thought of everything......SOB even left me a thank you note fer chrissakes!!!!!!

The difference between the two here is one of closure. Not a day goes by that I don't think of them both. But at Denny's funeral, I told the crowd something I had just learned and I think has helped me a lot. My nephew Ricky told his Mom, "Uncle Pat must have a big hole in his heart now." But he was wrong.......and I realized I didn't.

Great friends can NEVER leave a hole in your heart. They can only fill it with wonderful memories and experiences. Perhaps our heart is filled, not emptied, by the thoughts and memories and experiences of our friends. Maybe that's all that holds it together.