Saying goodbye to someone you love is hard however I do believe that it is a true gift to be able to be there to say your final goodbyes to one another. No one can prepare you for this moment. What do you say to someone who has been so important to you in your life for so many years? If words fail you, there are other ways to show your love. Through your touch, through your presence, through your smiles. It was all so sudden. She had collapsed the day before and was taken to hospital. I was told that she did not have much time so I raced to say my final goodbye to my wonderful grandmother Ruth who was in her 90th year. We had been planning a big celebration together for her birthday in June. Sadly it was not to be. My mother had warned me that she was not awake nor speaking however when I arrived at my grandmother’s bedside, hearing me speak she woke up and we had a meaningful conversation. She asked me if I had a cold. I said no, I was just crying. She asked me why I was crying. I couldn’t reply. My words got stuck. Tears simply streamed down my face. Tears expressed what my words could not. I asked her if she was in pain. She said she wasn’t. We spoke about how her artwork should be on the ceiling instead of the plain white boring tiles. I said that I was going to get mum and that we would be back soon. We blew each other kisses and she smiled then she drifted back into a peaceful sleep. Together with my mother and my brother, for the rest of the day we held her hands, stroked her hair, sang her favourite songs and shared all the wonderful moments of our many years together. It was both heart-breaking and beautiful. We thanked her for all her time, energy and love she had given us. Shared how much joy she had brought to us. Told her how much she had cared for us and tended to all our needs as a devoted mother, grandmother and great-grandmother. My grandmother was an incredible, stoic woman who was fabulously creative with her hands. A true artist of many crafts such as watercolour, embroidery and knitting. A fabulous cook, a truly gifted green-fingered gardener and a steady golfer too. I have so many wonderful memories of her that will stay with me forever. We were very close as she was more like a mother and a best friend to me. We shared a very special bond so much so that I even called her by her first name. She taught me so much. She listened to me. She was always there for me. In fact she was always there for anyone whenever they needed her. I am so grateful that we were there for her when she needed us right until her very last breath. No longer here, yet Ruth lives on as her memories are tightly entwined in our hearts and minds forever. Ruth, we love you! Hear the birdsong. See and smell the flowers. Together now with your beloved George, my marvellous grandfather. Fly free! Thank you for being so special and loving me. Ruth Kerr 21.6.1932 - 4.4.2022 If you have the gift of saying goodbye to your loved one, cherish it and treasure it. Focus on goodbye!
ACTION POINT If your loved one is still here with you then tell them how much you love them today. Focus on saying hello and treasure every goodbye you have.