Vale Gabrielle

My friend with NHL (same as took Joey Ramone) passed away today.

I understand, and have always understood, the consolations of religious faith. I'm not stupid. You all know I don't believe in God or anything of that ilk at all, but I know that it would be such a comforting thought to imagine her moving on past this last hurdle of death. This is why religion itself, or at least the promise of an afterlife, lives on in this post-Darwinian, mid-Dawkinsian age, despite its lack of logic. It feels nice to believe these anodyne dreams, they soothe like opium... which I need right now.

To see her opening her eyes in joy, in the full bloom of health again, smiling her enormous room-brightening smile, trustingly taking the hand of her guardian angel as her spirit rises out of the frail waif-like shell that was her earthly body on the hosptial bed in that dark room, to imagine her walking into a light of comfort and relief, being led into a garden bursting into life where she can do whatever she likes, forever...

Touching, but untrue. I suppose it has to be enough to know that she feels no more pain, has no more suffering, but that is hardly supportive of a benign or omnipotent God. Indeed it can make one angry, un-Job-like. The suffering of the innocent and the associated problem of evil is one of the main arguments against the existence of God...

Logic. Reason. Anger. Comfort.

She was only 30-something.

This is the song I was listening to as the SMS came through.

I'll leave you to draw the dozens of heart-rendingly approprite allusions and melancholy references. I won't waste my time, I am too exhausted.


Open Your Eyes

All this feels strange and untrue
And I won't waste a minute without you
My bones ache, my skin feels cold
And I'm getting so tired and so old

The anger swells in my guts
And I won't feel these slices and cuts
I want so much to open your eyes
'Cause I need you to look into mine

Tell me that you'll open your eyes [x4]

Get up, get out, get away from these liars
'Cause they don't get your soul or your fire
Take my hand, knot your fingers through mine
And we'll walk from this dark room for the last time

Every minute from this minute now
We can do what we like anywhere
I want so much to open your eyes
'Cause I need you to look into mine

Tell me that you'll open your eyes [x8]

All this feels strange and untrue
And I won't waste a minute without you

Snow Patrol


The words of the preacher: Vanity of vanities, all is vanity.



Posted by: expat@large on Mar 08, 07 | 7:02 pm | Profile


pls take care. grief, but don't let it get you down for too long. when my granny died i went into a very long depression. i wouldn't advice anyone else to do the same.

Posted by: The Ivy on Mar 08, 07 | 9:46 pm

"There is no new thing under the sun."

No misery, no joy is uniquely ours, no matter how much we feel it is. The comfort in that is in the realization that we are never really alone.

I'm sorry for your loss.

Posted by: Samantha on Mar 08, 07 | 10:07 pm

i am sorry for your loss, darlin. (insert hug and a casserole dish here because that's how we deal with grief and sadness in the south.)

Posted by: savannah on Mar 08, 07 | 10:09 pm

I'm sad and I'm angry for her.

She was a very clever and such a nice person, one of those who should she live for ever no-one would ever have complained of having her around all the time.

A stolen child.

Posted by: expat@large on Mar 08, 07 | 11:09 pm

O.K. I know...

My wife told me somedays: the doctors say I have cancer...

She was 6 months in the hospital

She told me: I´m fine at all

The doctors told us: everything went fine


Two years later she was dead

She was 35 years old

Nothing was fine, nothing went fine at all

Nothing will be really fine anymore

I was angry…I´m still angry…

This was seven years ago

Once in a week I`m at her graveyard


New relationsship

Life goes on

Still angry… with doctors…with god…with any- or everybody…

But time is a healer…stupid…but true…

(Sorry, maybe bad english…not using a translation program…no time for that at all)

Posted by: drymonsoon on Mar 09, 07 | 3:46 am

Thoughts are with you mate.

Posted by: Indiana on Mar 09, 07 | 6:02 am

I'm so sorry sweetie. Take care of yourself, hope everything feels better soon.


Posted by: VirginPornStar on Mar 09, 07 | 7:39 am

Drymonsoon, communicating bad results can be fraught with problems.

Would you have be happier now if the Doctors had at first said "We have no idea if she will live long or not becasue of this, as there are so many variables, but we will do our best to help you."

Many people would not be satisfied with this, as it implies the Doctors don't know what they are doing, or what the results of their treatment willl be. This is thought to be bad, but it is in fact the truth of medicine! People react very differently to the same drugs.

There is no right thing to say when people have cancer, as many people do not WANT hear such bad news and to face the truth.

Nothing will make them happy, the news is so bad. Laying blame is a human thing, very expected. Blame anyone you can, the doctor, he made the diagnosis, ordered the tests: it's his fault.

And its as if his words "you have cancer" did the actual killing.

So what to say?

"You have cancer and will die." No, too blunt. But this may be what some people remember even if the doctor actually said this:-

"You have cancer, and we will try to help you as much as possible." This is probably what they actually said, but maye not what was heard.

"You have cancer, but everything will be fine." Again they probably didn't say this exactly, but it was what was heard. They are trying to be positive to give hope, because that hope can bolster strength in the immune system.

Like my friend, the doctors didn't kill her, even though the treatments may have been tough. The cancer killed her. And quickly. It was only 5 months since she notice a lump in her neck (which I think I scanned at some training session... and said see a doctor...)

(Now you see why I feel so bad - irrational guilt!)


Everybody: thanks. Funeral and wake are today.

Posted by: expat@large on Mar 09, 07 | 2:20 pm

p.s. Drymonsoon: It is very sad hearing your story of loss. Take strength from the new relationship and make the most of it!

Posted by: expat@large on Mar 09, 07 | 2:22 pm

p.p.s. Everybody, don't read too much of Ecclesiastes.

Brilliant, but I forgot how SO DEPRESSING it is!

Posted by: expat@large on Mar 09, 07 | 2:25 pm

I hope you're okay.

Posted by: knobby on Mar 09, 07 | 3:43 pm

I'm sure that your beautiful friend has indeed opened her eyes again - in the Heaven that you have actually described.

I'm sure that her guardian angel did take her by the hand and has led her from that dark room of suffering for the last time, to a place of Light, and eternal bliss. (Uncanny that you were listening to that moving song at the very moment you received the SMS!)

These strange things do happen, and how can we explain them?

God bless and comfort you - your friend is in peace now; there is no more pain, and her suffering was not in vain - because she's in Heaven!

"It is a far, far better world I go to than I have ever known..." (A Tale of Two Cities)

Posted by: Sister on Mar 10, 07 | 10:31 pm

Mariah: chances are, if I'd won Lotto a Snow Patrol song would have playing and I am sure I could have got something out of it.

Yes, as I said, it was be nice if that was the case. Just because it would be nice, doesn't mean it would be true...

I would feel better if I won Lotto too, does that mean it would be true?

Posted by: expat@large on Mar 11, 07 | 11:00 pm

Well my friend, your not believing in the mercy of God is very sad. You can't be moved by anything I've said. If you don't believe in Heaven, and don't want to go there...

"Chances are, your chances are awfully good."

Posted by: Sister on Mar 16, 07 | 9:47 pm

Well I swear they're ain't no heaven
And I pray they're ain't no hell
But I'll never know by livin'
'Cause only my dyin' will tell
Yeah only my dyin' will tell
Only my dyin' will tell...


I never said I don't believe in the mercy of God, only that I don't believe in God.

God didn't show much mercy in the Old Testament. He was a horrible deity, absolutely terrible, a Hitler...

Posted by: expat@large on Mar 17, 07 | 2:25 am

Now you wouldn't be considering to be blasphemous on Saint Patrick's Day, of all days - surely?

- you of Irish Catholic heritage? That would be a terrible shame indeed!

Remember: "People will not look forward to posterity who never look backward to their ancestors."

-Edmund Burke

(You might guess, I've been out celebrating St Patrick's Day with a group of friends and family - no drinking of course!!)

Posted by: Sister on Mar 17, 07 | 9:31 pm


Notify me when someone replies to this post?
Submit the word you see below:

Powered by pMachine