How do you say goodbye?

There’s a lovely photograph of a dancer that hangs above my computer desk, watching over me as I work.

It was taken by the father of one of my dearest friends. I scored it at a charity auction many years ago.

The photographer lost his battle with cancer last Friday. My friend has spent the last few days with her family, organising a beautiful funeral for him.

I wanted to go to the funeral and give her a hug. It’s being held in Mudgee today – I figured I could get up early, turn the music up loud in my car and get there and back by dark.

Those plans went by the wayside when I got a call from my ex yesterday, announcing his suspicion that the youngest has whooping cough.

Just a few short weeks after having an endless flu, the youngest is breathless and coughing up a lung.

My ex took the day off and headed to the doctor, where the youngest was swabbed for whooping cough and sent home with a mega dose of steroids to ease the inflammation.

There will be a tiny baby at the funeral today who hasn’t been immunised. I figured a suspected case of whooping cough wouldn’t be welcome near the little one.

It was time for me to make a belated call.

I hate talking on the phone. Hate it. I haven’t been a great friend over the past few weeks – I’ve let my phobia control my communication, just sending supportive texts instead of phoning.

So I took a deep breath and finally spoke to my friend. I wished her luck with the funeral and gave her my love.

Then I cried. And she started comforting me.

Not really the way the conversation was supposed to go. But my friend is pretty special – she started asking questions about my life, checking if everything was OK.

I wished out loud that there was something I could do for her … and that I’d been a better friend.

But she dismissed my angst and we promised to get together for a drink or lunch next week. I will hug her hard when I see her.

Vale Christopher, you must have been a pretty wonderful man to have created such a lovely daughter.

Song of the day: The Beatles “In My Life”

4 thoughts on “How do you say goodbye?

  1. i think your friend probably appreciated comforting someone else and being able to talk about something that wasn’t her fathers death. I lost my father a year ago and i avoided the phone because I didn’t want to have to go through it all over again everytime someone called. To talk about something else, someone else’s problems, was a respite from my own grief.

    • I’m really sorry for your loss Clare. Thank you for your comment. I still feel rotten for crying when my friend was the one who was grieving, but I’m also heartened by the fact you didn’t want to talk to people on the phone. Makes me feel slightly better about texting my friend.

  2. I have tears running down my face as I read this. Ylla is my beautiful sister in law and I am saddened about the loss of her dad. Beautiful words

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