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Goodbye to a dear friend.
#1
I said a last goodbye to a friend yesterday.  He is stricken by ALS, has declined rapidly for more than a year and he's welcoming the end of his life.
He's in his late 70's and has a good family support network.  I know him through the volunteer master gardener movement; he welcomed me when i was a newcomer and has been an exemplary mentor and.....actually he's been the elder brother that my own two brothers never were.

He'll never walk, feed or dress himself again.  We both bid our final farewells to one another....he'll be moved to an intensive care nursing home this week and quite clearly expressed the sentiment that he's unafraid of death, far prefers transitioning to what comes after and utterly abhors the life he has to live now.  Now is the time for nurses, orderlies and his family to ease him through his last days....that is his wish.

I left him with a small token of our acquaintance....a little vase of the last daffodils of this spring's blooming....they come from my grove of apple trees, a place that he really liked to stroll through and be in.  He called it my "oasis".   They'll eventually wilt before his eyes and he'll see a nurse from his current assisted living facility take them away and later this week he'll be wheeled away himself.....from his little apartment to an even littler room in a hospital-like setting.

I'm sad although I'm privileged to have known him.
Nothing exists entirely alone.  Everything is always in relation to everything else.

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#2
Constant stranger,

I am so sorry to hear about your friends illness. I got tears in my eyes thinking about saying last goodbyes, and the lovely flowers you brought him. I can't imagine how you must be feeling. Sending hugs and positive thoughts your way.... XO
"Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter, and those who matter don't mind."
— Dr. Seuss
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#3
The idea of him spending his final days in an even smaller room is heart-breaking in itself. Especially knowing his love for the outdoors. So, that was very kind of you and who knows maybe they won't wilt away before he's moved. To maintain that "Oasis' imagery. Some sort of happiness and light among-st it all.

Whatever may come after, might even be a new beginning. We should seek comfort in the unknown just as equally as fear. Misplaced hope or not, it keeps you leveled and there's nothing wrong with that.

He sounds like an amazing human being. Like yourself. I'm sure he doesn't want you to be sad. So, stay privileged, yeah? Smile
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#4
Seems like you made a really great friend.
_______________________________________________________________________
Sickos never scare me. Least they're committed.  
Never Give Up!  Never Surrender!

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#5
Yes. I have three friends in real life and one online friend whom I used to know in real life but haven't met for more than fifty years.
When Don leaves there will be two IRL friends and the gal from my past with whom I FB chat and exchange gifts via UPS.
Good thing I have ALL.
Nothing exists entirely alone.  Everything is always in relation to everything else.

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#6
So sorry you have to go through this. Hopefully, his final day will be painless for him.
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#7
 There is never a right time to say goodbye.

 I am sorry for your friend’s illness, for your deep sadness.
 Human condition cannot be changed.
 All we can do is to keep alive the memory of those who stepped into eternity.
 Peace and hope, dear Constant stranger. 
 

Stars, Songs, Faces 
 
 
Gather the stars if you wish it so
Gather the songs and keep them.
Gather the faces of women.
Gather for keeping years and years.
And then...
Loosen your hands, let go and say good-bye.
Let the stars and songs go.
Let the faces and years go.
Loosen your hands and say good-bye.
 
Carl Sandburg
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#8
Hello Constant Stranger,
I was so touched upon reading your post. Sorry about your friend’s illness. You are such a good friend. I know he treasures your friendship.


Thank you for sharing this. I pray for God’s comfort be upon you and your friend as well. God is in control of your friend’s life and He loves your friend.
Keep us posted. Take care and God bless.
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