goodbye my friend

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From the time we are small we will encounter many other people whose lives will interact with our own. Some of them will linger for a time before passing along their own path whilst others may stay with us forever. No matter the length of time each leaves behind some tiny little footprints in our memories and often our hearts. 

It is with great sadness today that i learned of the passing of a very old friend. A friend lost in the distant past but despite the different paths our lives had taken still a friend for all that. Mingled with sadness is an overwhelming guilt that perhaps i should have tried harder to hold on to the friendship instead of letting it go,. Perhaps my presence could have made some difference to her as it did in the past. Could i have saved her?

She was fragile you see and i knew it. A total contrast to my own mulish strength and i often was the support for her failing life. She did not cope well with the downsides of life and sought solace often in the bottom of a glass. I know it was not my choice and she lived the way she wanted but memories of old remind me that i could have stopped her or at least led her to moderation as i had in the past.  But maybe i failed her by not being there. 

It is all too easy to become wrapped up in our own lives and i am the first to admit i am very solitary. My friendships are few by choice even if my acquaintances are many. Yet we found each other she and i, in a time when we were both at our most vulnerable and formed a firm kind of limping friendship that i like to hope mattered at least a little. That she was only slightly older than i is a painful jab at just how short life really is and perhaps makes me more aware than ever of my own mortality. Yet i like to believe that once a friendship is formed then it will always be so whether the years steer you in different directions or not and i think that perhaps she would have agreed with that. 

Wherever she is i hope she is in a better place for i know that for her life was not an easy experience. Perhaps now she will find the happiness that for so long eluded her and finally find herself some peace.

Goodbye my friend, 

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A Reason To Be Missed

Last night fighting sleep i was doing my usual channel hopping on the tv. I get this way quite often being really to tired to watch anything in particular but reluctant to actually turn it off but this time a programme caught my eye and i found myself watching avidly.

Truth be told it was actually a rather sad and upsetting programme and ordinarily i would have switched channels and avoided it but i found the people within it really captured me and kept me there long after i would have left and opted for sleep. The programme itself was about people who die alone and who are never discovered for quite some time and i watched in shocked disbelief as the varying tales unfolded. A 58 year old man was discovered last year after lying dead in his flat for two years, forgotten and unmissed by anyone. I’m a soft hearted soul anyway but this upset me greatly, how sad that this gentleman had been in a position where he had passed on and yet nobody noticed. How? 

Where were his friends?? Where were his family??

It seems he had neither, being rather reclusive in nature and this in itself is the saddest thing of all. I am sure i am far from alone in hoping that when my time comes i will leave behind people who will miss me,notice that i am gone and that i have in some way touched at least one person in such a way as to cause them to mourn my loss. I should feel i had lived my life very badly indeed if this were not the case. 

Worse still the story of an elderly lady who had lain dead in her flat for 5 years before anyone discovered her. 5 years!!! Who was this poor lady and why was she so alone? What on earth had caused her to come to such a tragic end? It seems nobody knew, neither the lady herself or anything about her. How horrific that a person can just vanish from the face of the earth and be unnoticed by a single living soul. How lonely an existence this must have been and my heart went firmly out to her yet i cannot imagine what it must be like to be so lonely and so forgotten. Perhaps though it is easier than we think to end up this way and she herself had never envisaged such an end to her life.

Still the tales came, some left for days, others for much longer periods of time and it seems it is far from a rare occurrence. So many people, all forgotten. One would imagine that this was limited to the poor and the elderly yet this was not so. People of all ages, sexes and both rich and poor all with the same tragic ending. I wonder if the blame lies with society itself for the less than community spirit that exists in this modern day world of ours or if ultimately the people themselves were at fault, dooming themselves in their very rejection of fellow human beings. This we shall never know but it definitely gives cause for thought and has altered my thinking rather a lot. My jest has always been that i should end my days being a crazy cat lady in a remote cottage in Wales but suddenly this does not seem such an ideal to aspire to. Perhaps a more fitting end of days should be my choice for i do not wish to be yet another statistic on the forgotten people list.

Time to be thankful then and hold on to those people who will notice if i am no longer here and work upon leaving behind me a reason to be missed. 

No time to say goodbye

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Yet again i find my faith in the world in which i work well and truly dealt a blow which is not an easy thing to cope with right now. They say you should not have your favourites but believe me no matter how dedicated you are it is very hard not to become especially fond of one or two in your care and i find i am no exception in this. So arriving at work today it was very upsetting to find that one particular favourite of mine has declined rapidly and not expected to be with us long and i found i had to blink very hard not to cry for i do not wish to disgrace myself infront of colleagues being less than stoic. Harder still when some time later she clung tightly to my hand and begged me not to leave her and at this point away from other eyes i admit without shame that i did cry for i do not like to think of her gone but tried swiftly to hide it for i did not want to distress or frighten this lady by subjecting her to tears. But i cannot deny the intense guilt i felt as i had to leave, for we are not allowed to linger with anyone for long having so many others requiring attention,as i would have happily sat with her as long as she wished me to.Guilt which only increased later when upon continuing decline an ambulance was called and it was considered the better place for her was to be admitted to hospital. I am not so unintelligent nor naive as to not realise that it is most likely this lady will not return and this upsets me and i in truth am not so sure that i can do this any more. I honestly do not believe it is within my nature to develop the hardened shell which more than one of my colleagues has informed me they have.  It is not an easy thing to sit and watch someone knowing they are dying and seriously not something i really want to repeat. 

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