On Thanksgiving weekend I had the blessing of being able to say goodbye to someone I love very much. She has been an important part of all of my family celebrations, every year since before my daughter was born. My daughter has never known a Christmas, Easter, or Thanksgiving without Jutta. But Jutta is dying of lung cancer. We all know that this will be her last gathering with us, her chosen family.
Saying goodbye to one I love who is dying may seem like an odd thing to list as one of my Thanksgiving blessings, but that is truly how I feel. At least we got to say how much we love each other one last time. We got to ask and answer some important questions. I was able to convey to her how integral a part of our future celebrations she will be: not just by her absence, but much more in all the memories and love that have been shared over the years. We got to hold each other, to walk together, to snuggle on the couch. We were able to be open-hearted when it mattered most.
I am so grateful that my friend did not die suddenly while alone in her home. I am grateful that she is surrounded by loved ones as she makes this final journey. I am sad. She is ready to go. I am ready to let her go. I cannot ask for more.