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The Art of Saying Good Bye to Someone You Love

iStock_000012294126XSmallThere is an art to saying goodbye to someone you love dearly and until last week I had never had to use it.  Fortunately I had the opportunity to do this in person.

My Aunt had a knee replacement and was on the road to recovery with Occupational and Physical therapy underway for 2 weeks following the surgery.  Then about 9 days ago she mentioned to my Uncle that she didn’t feel well.  He took her to the hospital and they admitted her immediately.  The issue was pneumonia and fluid on her lungs.  They started an antibiotic regime.   After 8 days of intravenous therapy the pneumonia was not subsiding.  The following day the Doctor was in to see my Aunt and Uncle saying that if the medication did not kick in soon, or Mother Nature took over, there was not much more they could do, and she had 1 – 2 days to live.

Can you imagine hearing this!

Fortunately my parents were also there.  My Aunt was coherent and seemed to take this news in stride.  They spoke about medical interventions and she mentioned the she did not want any of these treatments.  This is Thursday and throughout the day my Aunt was cognizant.  Mom had the time to ask her sister if there was anything she wanted her to do for her.  My Aunt replied no that she was at peace with what she had completed in her life.  My Aunt was a beautiful lady who loved her family, her church and community; still finding time to be an award winning quilter, masterful decorator, avid gardener, and fierce Scrabble player.

On Thursday late afternoon my parents left me a message that my Aunt was not well.  I arranged to go and see her on Friday getting there around 4:30 in the afternoon.  I had the gift of time as well.   I am very grateful that I had the opportunity to say goodbye to her, telling her how much I loved her and to thank her for the great memories and good times spent together.  She died 45 minutes later.

Although my heart is heavy and there seems to be a huge void right now; for me the art of saying good bye to my Aunt is the peace of mind knowing that there are no regrets, should haves, would haves, or could haves.

Our time on earth is short.  Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, all we have is the present, and that is why it is called a gift.  Have you taken the gift of time to resolve any should haves, would haves, or could haves with those you love? Share your thoughts with me.  I hope you can mend the: I am sorry, or I wish I had done. I hope you can use your gift of time to leave a Loving Legacy.




6 replies
  1. Sharon Alderson says:

    Kat, thank you for your heartfelt writing. I never had the chance to say goodbye to my Dad, Father-in-Law, or Mother-in-Law. I am going to visit my mother, who is almost 90 this week. You have touched my heart and I write through my tears. You are blessed to have had some wonderful moments with your aunt.

    • Kat says:

      Dear Sharon. I am so very sorry to hear of your losses. It may be difficult to cope with when you are not able to physically say goodbye. Yet I believe that our loved ones can still receive our messages of love and gratitude. I hope your visit with your Mom is great and thank you so very much for sharing virtual hugs Kat

  2. Diane Sawyer says:

    I am so sorry to hear of your loss, Kat. Sounds like you had a wonderful relationship with your aunt and I’m glad you had the opportunity to say “good-bye” to her.


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