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A Tender Goodbye

Last night marked the passing of my dear friend, Diane. Our paths crossed six months ago when I began volunteering at Calgary Hospice, offering companionship to individuals facing advanced illnesses. Diane was a captivating individual, and our conversations often delved deep into the topics of life and death, a reality she confronted daily. Her resilience shone through despite battling illness for over a decade, enduring the challenges that cancer and treatments brought along her journey.

When Diane's son informed me of her hospitalization, I was graciously welcomed to say my final goodbyes yesterday. He expressed Diane's appreciation for our connection, a sentiment mirrored in my profound gratitude. Our friendship, though brief, carried a raw and heartfelt honesty.

Standing by Diane's side as she took her last breaths, her fragile frame weighing only 85 pounds, I was struck by the uncertainty of life's final moments. Her son's song, from a recent play he was in, elicited a subtle response, showcasing their deep bond. Surrounded by her other friends, we stood together, each reacting uniquely.

The experience of witnessing someone at death's threshold is profound. Fearing death's unknown realm, Diane candidly shared her apprehensions with me. Yet, as she approached the inevitable, a sense of peace enveloped her, her countenance serene amidst the heaviness of her breathing.

I am blessed to have been her companion, sharing moments over carrot cake and coffee. Yesterday, I had the privilege of standing on the precipice between life and death with Diane, where fear and courage intertwine in a delicate balance. This poignant experience serves as a reminder of life's fragility, urging me to let go and embrace the impermanence of every moment.

Farewell, dear Diane. 

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