Some months ago I wrote about the privilege of sharing time with a friend undergoing chemo treatment. Her prognosis was not good, and though that has not changed she clings tenaciously to life, giving herself time to enjoy family and friends, write letters for her young girls and yes, plan her funeral. One of her requests was for there to be bagpipe music.
At this point in her illness, friends in her small Maine community have rallied round sitting with her day after day, reading to her, talking quietly or just watching over her while she rests. A few days ago, she commented to one of her friends that she regretted not being able to hear the bagpiper play at her funeral. I’m sure there was a moment before the reality of that statement sunk in, but then the friend, who just happened to be the one who had arranged for bagpipe music, went into action.
She called the musician and together they planned a parade of friends. He, of course, would lead with friends following behind from the top of the hill to her house, everyone waving streamers in celebration of her life.
Don’t you love that picture? My only regret is that I could not be there except in spirit to join in. I love thinking of Liz, her courage and the love she has received from the small town that is her home. What I have learned from her is grace, courage and dignity, a lesson I hope to use well.
Today I urge you to hug someone you love because as we all know, nothing is forever.