Posts Tagged ‘goodbye’

I was reading an article about 2,000 Nebraskans attending the funeral of a Vietnam veteran. The report said he had no known family. And asked the public to attend. Lovely gesture.

This fellow served our country and deserved a proper goodbye.

Drumroll. Marching in my little girl idealism. Hope I never get too old for it.

Wouldn’t it be so beautiful if everyone had a proper goodbye?

Maybe it’s religion, culture and tradition that warps my thinking. We (my people) have wakes, funerals, month’s minds, annual and memorial Masses. All a part of the farewell.

But that is providing that one actually has family and friends who organize the wake and funeral with the mortuary. Will attend the gatherings. Visit the graveside. Remember to contact the church to have Masses said in the decedent’s memory.

What if those people don’t exist?

Not everyone has family. But for those who don’t have family one hopes that there are, at least, friends.

This past Spring, an old work chum named Peter, posted a message, “No one should go alone.”

He wrote, “Don’t put all of your eggs in the “family basket” or you might find yourself alone at the end of the journey. Make sure to put half of your eggs in the “friend basket.” Said it was important to have one person that you can trust. Even if a neighbor or a landlord.

A couple of weeks later, Peter mentioned that it was his tenant, Bob, he was referring to in the previous post. Said that Bob earned his wings. He had been renting from Peter for three years. Bob became an instant friend and the family soon called him, “Uncle Bob.” Peter’s grandchildren would check on him, send up the mail or newspaper to him.

Uncle Bob was a bachelor and eighty-nine years old when he died. Only survivor was an elderly sister in Delaware.

Peter said that he and his wife would be attending a memorial service for Bob the following week. Wanted to make sure there were at least two people attending Bob’s funeral. ūüė¶

He immediately got lots of comments from his Facebook friends saying how sorry they were for his loss. No one noted or seemed to pick up on the fact that Peter would be the only person attending this man’s funeral.

I was in Delhi preparing to come back home for the summer. I also chimed in and told Peter I was sorry for his loss and if I were back in the U.S.A. I would surely join him at the memorial service. He said, as of that moment, the only attendees would be the undertaker, the lawyer (will), Peter and his wife.

That made me so very sad. He told me the date of the service. I would have some jet lag, for sure, but I thought I could make it.

I showed up at the cemetery that morning. Joined Peter, his wife, the undertaker and the lawyer in saying goodbye to a stranger. Who also happened to be a fellow human being.

Wouldn’t it be so beautiful if everyone had a proper goodbye?

We’re all just walking each other home.



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I was at a luncheon today. Not always fun when it’s a good-bye gathering.

Talking to a woman I know.

She says, “From what I hear you’ve been very busy. With the refugee stuff and school things. You really are a good person.”

I say, “Nah. Just doing what I can.”

Lady continues, “No, really! ¬†Because I spend most of my time thinking about me.”

LOL. I almost spewed out the contents of my mouth.

Because I appreciated the honesty of her words.

Sad as it might be.

She was being honest. Totally honest.


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I’m¬†always surprised by who takes the time to stop by or¬†say a special goodbye when they know you are moving.¬†It’s not¬†always the people you think it will be.

It might be a neighbor who stops by before the insanity of the actual move process starts¬†just to say good luck¬†and that you’ll be missed.

The other day it was the lady at the salon where we have our eyebrows waxed. The two things I am committed to on a regular basis (besides my husband) are eyebrow waxing and the hiding of the gray (on my head not my eyebrows.)

Sandy¬†is an older Vietnamese woman. No bigger than a minute.¬†Which means she wears less than a size zero and makes me wonder how did she ever give birth.¬†She¬†does an amazing job with waxing, shaping and polishing up the old eyebrows. Which is sort of funny since¬†she has none. Hers are¬†totally waxed off and then¬†penciled in or tattooed. I can’t tell. I just know she does a great job with mine.

We don’t speak much since she doesn’t know much English. And my Vietnamese is just not where it should be.¬†I always say, “Hi Sandy! How are you?”

She always responds positively. But she’s no gusher. Just not her personality.

Down¬†to business. She always asks, “Upper lip, too?”

And I say, “No, no.”

She does the job. I thank her. She responds positively. I pay, tip and go on my way.

My daughter¬†must have told her we were moving because as I was leaving she stops and¬†gives me a huge hug. Wow, totally wasn’t expecting that. I mused,¬†“Wow,¬†I must be a better¬†tipper than I thought.”

But I know it’s not that. It’s that we all get used to seeing the same people in our everyday lives. They become familiar and a part of our personal landscapes.¬†And then they won’t be there.

We’ve exchanged goodbye hugs with the hairdresser, dentist and other folks.¬†But that is not¬†surprising. We’ve shared¬†deep, personal conversations over the years.

It was surprising that a woman with whom I exchanged only two to three sentences, once a month for the past few years, showed me a little love.

Was just a hug. But I was touched (literally and figuratively). It was something I will not forget anytime soon.

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