Sweet Friend

September 30th

Judy and Shadow

A friend passed away yesterday. She’d been sick for quite a while, but the end came quickly. Even though we’d watched her lose her hair, grow it back, lose it again, fight countless infections and battle what seemed like 1,000 hurdles, I woke up yesterday morning fully convinced she’d rally. We’d celebrated her return to great health before. Ever the optimist, I was so painfully wrong.

Many of us had time to get to the hospital to say goodbye. She’d been in and out of the hospital for several years. By the end of the afternoon, I watched half a dozen nurses and doctors come to the ICU to see one of their favorite patients for the last time.
Something about watching a surgeon and nurses cry made the day that much more difficult; I always think of medical professionals as having some sort of super-human capability to deal with this sort of sorrow, but come to find out they are as startled and shaken by death as the rest of us.

A ray of light in all of this was watching my friends and her family gather. Judy worked with international students — many stopped by. She was loved by her church, and the minister was there to hold her husband’s hand. Her mother, sister, cousin and children were around her bedside too. The hallway was full of people she’d touched, including a handful of kids who’d spent many a summer at her house eating crazy dishes (eggs del monico) and listening to her stories of playing on Fire Island as a kid and going to graduate school at Columbia. She introduced me to the theater and regularly made sure their family had an extra ticket to the Broadway shows coming through town. She was an avid reader and loved swapping books, talking about music and taking long walks with her dog. I never heard her raise her voice or say a mean spirited thing about another person. She was truly a graceful woman and I will really miss her. We all will.

Today, I’m honoring Judy by being mindful of the countless blessings that surround my daily routines. From the gorgeous sunrise this morning that I may have otherwise overlooked to the simple breakfast I’ve just enjoyed — life is just too short to let the little things go unnoticed.

Thanks for your kind words yesterday. If you have a second today, please send good thoughts and prayers to Judy’s family.


Posted in
Faith, Journal
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45 Responses

  1. absolutely,
    holding love and light in my heart for you, and the rest of Judy’s family.

  2. Oh Kelli, I am so sorry to hear about your loss. I am grateful to hear that you were able to see her though, and it sounds like she was one of those inspiring people who will not be forgotten. I remember the origami cranes, which is such a beautiful story as well.

    I will keep you, and her family, in my thoughts today.

  3. I remember that previous post of your origami cranes bag. So sad. My thoughts and prayers are with you and her family. Losing someone is always so hard. So sorry…

  4. Take care, dear one. So glad you were able to see your friend before she passed.

  5. Thinking of them and of you. So sorry Kelli…

  6. Sounds like she was a blessing to all who knew her. How lucky you all were to know her.
    My sympathies are with you and her family.

  7. thinking of you…

  8. What an amazing experience for you to know someone like that. Even though she is gone, I know you will celebrate her life and spirit. Big hugs and prayers to you today.

  9. It is so rough when the true lights of the world are snuffed out too early.
    My thoughts are with you and Judy’s family. What a blessing to have such a woman touch your life.
    Peace, love and hugs. ~L

  10. Kelli, I’m sorry for the loss of your friend. I’ll be thinking of you and her loved ones.

  11. My thoughts are with you xoxo

  12. I am so sorry for your lost. My thoughts and prayers are with Judy’s friends and family.

  13. I had tears in my eyes while reading your entry. I’m so sorry for your loss and with her friends and family.


  14. Sending love to her family and friends, especially you!

  15. Thoughts, prayers, hugs …

  16. Hi Kelli,

    I just stopped by because April said you were worth the trip. I’m so sorry to hear of the loss of your friend.

    Even though we have never ‘met’ before, I hope you will accept my sympathy and my prayers for you and for Judy’s family.

  17. Kelli, I’m so sorry for the loss of your friend. I’m thinking of you and her family.

  18. I’m sorry for your loss, Kelli. She fought such a great fight and it sounds like she really made the most of her years on this earth. It’s inspiring.

    I’ll be praying for all of you who love her….

  19. Not sure what to say–but want you to know that you and Judy’s family are in my thoughts.

  20. you are in my thoughts & prayers today.

  21. I’m so sorry for your loss, Kelli. Thinking of you and her family as well.

  22. Tina in Duluth September 30, 2008

    I’m so sorry for your loss!

  23. Sending my prayers to all who loved her.

  24. So sorry to hear of your friend’s passing ((hugs))

  25. My thoughts and prayers go out to you and Judy’s family and friends during this difficult time.

  26. Kelli:

    My thoughts and prayers are with you. You wrote such beautiful words about your friend. She sounds like she was an amazing human being. What a legacy. Every life touches another. Thanks for letting us share in yours.

  27. She sounds like such a lovely person. My thoughts and prayers are with her friends and family as I read this.

  28. The way you’ve described Judy reminds me of a friend of mine who died a few weeks ago. My thoughts and prayers are with you and Judy’s friends and family.

  29. My prayers are with you and all of Judy’s friends and family.

  30. What a lovely tribute and a gorgeous photo. My thoughts and prayers are with her family and friends.

  31. Thinking of you and your young friend. She will need you much now.

  32. I’m so sorry Kelli. Thoughts and prayers to Judy’s family in this time of need, and to you as well.

  33. Rest in peace Judy. Good thoughts to you and her loved ones. -hugs Cristina

  34. I’m very sorry for your loss Kelli. Loving thoughts to you and to Judy’s family.

  35. It’s always so painful to lose someone we love. My prayers are with you and your friend’s family. Be grateful also for the time you’ve spent with her.

  36. She sounds like a remarkable woman who has taught those around her a great deal. I am sorry for your loss.

  37. So sorry my friend….she sounds like a wonderful person! May those memories sustain you and her family during the difficult days ahead.

  38. What a beautiful post. She sounds like an amazing person who will be sorely missed.

  39. I am so sorry for the loss of your friend. Thank you for the comments to celebrate her life and how she inspired you. She will live on.

  40. shit, shouldn’t have read this. amanda, i don’t know how you’ve coped. your mother was lovely. the world will be less without her.

  41. I am so sorry to read of your friend passing away Kelli. Judy sounds like a awesome lady who everyone should have had as a friend.

    My prayers for you and her family.

  42. so sad to loose a dear one. i too just lost a good friend. words can’t express. blessings to judy’s family. sorry for your friend passing, kelli. prayers, strength and love i send.

  43. Kelli, I’m incredibly saddened for your loss and her family and friends as well. There are no words I can say that will make the hurt go away, hopefully being mindful of everything around you will help. Hugs