Saying goodbye to a friend

Last Sunday I went for a hike. Not because I wanted to exercise or take in some scenery, but because I needed to say goodbye to a close friend who passed away from brain cancer late Saturday night. After battling the cancer for a little over a year, Jason ran out of treatment options and began hospice care in the end of February. His final decline happened so quickly over a matter of a week that my head and heart are still trying to comprehend the loss. I am utterly heartbroken.

When I learned of Jason’s death, I did the thing that felt natural to me… the thing that helps me deal with grief the most. I grabbed my hiking shoes, journal, watercolors and pens and headed for the hills. I wanted to be in a place that was strong with his memory, so I drove to a nearby park that Doug and I had visited with Jason and his family a few years ago.

On that trip we had all hiked to the top of a mesa, so I chose to retrace that route. When I got to the top, I sat on the edge and took my art and writing materials out of my backpack. Through tears, I dipped my paintbrush into my watercolors and captured onto the page that landscape that held such cherished memories. At that moment I knew that the mesa would forever be the place I go to when I want to remember Jason.

Then I took out my pen and wrote a goodbye to him in the pages of my journal. By that time, it had become extremely blustery on the mesa and I could hardly hold my book and pen steady. When I was finished, I read what I had written out loud. As the words left my mouth, I pictured the wind carrying them to our dear friend.

Jason– I hope they reached you and that you know how much you are loved and missed.

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6 thoughts on “Saying goodbye to a friend

  1. I lost a friend to cancer a few years ago after a very long battle. He hung on long enough to get his nursing degree. He never leaves my heart of my thoughts as I know your friend won’t for you. A beautiful way to say goodbye.

    1. Heidi, its written that when a good man dies the world takes no notice, but the one who made the mesa where you find comfort, sees even one little sparrow that falls to the ground in the midst of all His creation. Maranatha Carla

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