Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Good bye Gerri

The time has come to announce that Gerri has passed away peacefully at 3:30 this morning (March 22, 2011) at Campbell River Hospital.

The following arrangements were made:
Funeral Services were held on Saturday, March 26, 2011.
To everyone's surprise and delight Gerri left a video with her last words to her friends. 
Gerri's last words that she addressed to her family and friends is now online.
In lieu of flowers donations may be made to the Campbell River Hospital, the Campbell River Hospice Program, or the charity of your choice. Again we'll ask you to not arrange for any deliveries to Gerri's address, there will be nobody there to receive them. 

I saw Gerri the last time on March 17 when she asked me to say good-bye to everyone with the previous post. On March 19 she requested to be transferred to Campbell River Hospital. She wanted to be alone, at rest, answer no more questions "how do you feel?", make no decisions, receive no treatments, except for pain to keep her comfortable. She left strict instructions not to be disturbed by anyone.

There is really not much left to say. Those who knew her understand that she was a woman of action, and waiting for the moment under the gaze of others was agony. She knew that the time was close, she was ready to go, so she made it happen her way. She entered this world alone, and she left it alone.

This is a poem that gives me a lot of comfort. Gerri loved it too.
This is for all of her friends who feel the great loss of Gerri gone from this world. She'll never be gone from our heart!
Do not stand at my grave and weep
I am not there; I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow,
I am the diamond glints on snow,
I am the sun on ripened grain,
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you awaken in the morning's hush
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circling flight.
I am the soft starlight at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry,
I am not there; I did not die.
Mary Frye
Perhaps you won't see Gerri's obituary in your local paper. See it here.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Saying good bye to the world

When I arrived Gerri was dressed, sitting up, having lunch, eating slowly and with enjoyment. Her place is very peaceful and calm. She is very tired now. As we talked about some things it became immediately clear that all worldly matters, ongoing by necessity, are now wholly in the hands of her family or myself.

Gerri instructed me to put one more post on her blog while she is still here. She wants to say good bye to all  her dear friends, be they close or distant. She has now turned away from all worldly things, they no longer have any significance. You could say that she is in transit  to the Abha Kingdom.

Gerri's spirit takes little flights away sometimes, a little bit like a fledgling bird trying out its wings, and after a few minutes she is back and continues the conversation.

Don't get me wrong. Gerri is 'all there'. We discussed how she feels. Her journey at this stage is intensely personal and very private, nothing else matters. It may be hard for us to understand this, but Gerri agreed that you could compare this time to your wedding day. Isn't it one of the few days in your life that is uniquely yours? On that day the world retreats, nothing else matters but you and your beloved and the beginning of your new life together.

So Gerri is saying good bye to us all. It won't be long now and her body will set her spirit free.

Of course this is not the last post. There will be one more, when the time has come. In the meantime, unless you were specifically asked to do so, please, no calls, no emails, no visits, no mail or deliveries. Prayers, on the other hand, are never wasted or refused.