Please use this blog to help us remember Joshua Lee Anderson, who made the tragic and fatal decision to take his life on Wednesday, March 18, 2009. Please post any memories or thoughts you may have in the comments.

Friday, January 7, 2011

The Death of a Friend

I was baking cookies the other night when a friend's call informed me of the sudden death of another dear, gracious, sweet friend. A few weeks ago, I had learned that she had been diagnosed with cancer and was awaiting test results and prognosis. I don't think anyone thought her death would be this sudden. I mistakenly thought there would be time to reconnect as we had not been in touch since Josh's death.

My friend has lived a long life - full of love. Love from husband, children, grandchildren and friends. She lived life to the full and with great gusto. She traveled extensively - listening to her itineraries would leave me exhausted! I can't imagine her having any regrets except that she's left her loved ones without warning.

My journal has become my confident. I write what I am thinking and feeling - just to get things out. This is what I wrote on hearing of her passing:
She has passed away! I can't believe she is gone! So fast! Her poor family: husband, daughter and sons. How tragic to be so sudden but maybe she was spared tremendous suffering. Maybe this is God's mercy. Poor, poor family! I hope she is able to be with Josh. It comforts me to think they may be together.

I am no stranger to death now. To what it means - the catastrophic impact to your family and to what you know to be true, real or tangible. How thin the line is between life and death - literally seconds or a few minutes. One minute - alive. The other minute - gone. And so final, irreversible, undo-overable. Cannot take it back. Cannot push replay. This is what is so difficult about death - the fact that it is FINAL. Cannot change. Powerless. Neither fame, earthly power or money can undo death.

When enough happens to shut down critical bodily functions, whether by illness, accident, old age or violence, and the line is crossed, death has arrived. Life has gone. Evidence of life is gone - no breathing, no movement, no pulse, no reaction, no response. A stiffness - so unnatural to see a body with no life. Empty. A shell. No energy. Nothing happening on a micro or macro level. Quiet. Still. Gone. Absent. And eventually taken out in a black body bag, put on a gurney and into a waiting van for a final trip to the morgue.

And that was the last time I saw and touched my beloved Josh.
It will be two years in March, and I can still vividly remember the morning I found him. I try not to think about it very much but occasionally I do. It is like a bad dream, except I know it is not. It happened. And when I go and make my weekly visit to his grave site tomorrow and see the stone with his name, date of birth and date of death, I will know, once again, that this is my reality.

God Bless

1 comment:

Roxanne said...

Our messages and balloons went up to Josh on New Years Eve as well :) We sent them up right at midnight! I am sure it made him smile to see all of those balloons coming his way!