Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Learning How to Say Goodbye

Hello Friends:

There on my sidebar of blogs is "Toddler Planet."  It has not been updated for year because the author passed away one year ago today on Feb 6, 2012.  I haven't yet been able to bring myself to remove the link, but I think the next few days will finally see that happen.

I've been watching it slowly fall lower and lower on the list, wondering why I couldn't remove it.  Wondering if this was me in denial, or some kind of weird homage, or what.  Grief is a strange thing.

Sue died of inflammatory breast cancer, and left behind a husband and two children, as well as a legacy of friends, coworkers, her blog, and much more.  It is so cliche to say 'inspiring' but if you take a look at just the last few posts on her blog, you'll see what I mean.

She had a very realistic view of chronic illness that I'm sure a lot of us understand all too well.  She didn't candy coat the difficulties, the pain, the sense of loss.  But she was able to maintain a sense of healing and hope that resonated with me.  We know how tough it is to be sick, but the truth is that healing is always there, even up to the very last minute of the very last day.  There is healing that happens.

I am daunted by the incredible flood of responses she received both towards the end of her life and after she passed.  It brings the pain and loneliness of illness into stark relief.  Mental illnesses (say depression in particular) drive us into isolation, away from friends, and into our homes and sometimes bedrooms, not to emerge for who knows how long.  We desperately desire to know that there are others out there who still know we exist, and still care, but we lack the ability to reach out.  Sue's life poses a challenge to keep trying even when the pain is severe - it is inspiring, but the challenge remains daunting.

It is my only real homage to be able to say to her that I still think of her, and that how she lived, and died, makes me want to keep on trying.  I do think she'd be honored by that.  I would be honored should anyone ever be able to say that of me.

Your Hostess With Neuroses
Image credit/info: Susan's avatar picture, taken from her blog "Toddler Planet"


Tina Fariss Barbour said...

A beautiful post. Thank you for sharing Susan and her blog. To live gracefully and courageously while fighting illness is a wonderful thing, and something that I'd like to do too.

Jen Daisybee said...

Thank you for sharing your friend's legacy and work and what she left for you to remember. I'm sure she was a wonderful person.

Anonymous said...

What a beautiful picture of Sue, and a beautiful tribute to her. Healing happens until the very last moment. I'm going to make that my mantra.


Antisocial-Carl said...

I made a blog post on the five top myths about social anxiety disorder, might be relevant!:)

The Blue Morpho said...

Thanks everyone for these comments. It's hard to know what a fitting tribute can possibly be when someone leaves. At the least, I am hoping to celebrate her life and her inspiration to anyone with chronic illness.

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