I guess there are lots of ways to say goodbye but none of them are much fun. Seems like I've seen and tried just about every way I can think of but still....none are pleasant.
This past month my husband told his brother goodbye in several ways-
First by helping him in and out of his wheelchair-a new development in his illness(ALS) during a birthday celebration. It wasn't a big deal- it was just a simple sweet thing to do. Of course Bub would never just softly lumber along, he made the ride a bit of fun! He knew his brother didn't want pity- he wanted to make the best of this horrid disease. So Bub told him,the old him, goodbye by accepting the new way of visiting and walking.
A few short weeks later we gathered at his bedside while Tim was deep in a coma from a blood clot to his lung- he was dying and it was only a matter of time. At first we gathered quietly and spoke in hushed tones-then we started talking about the fun we had all had as kids together and finally we gave in to the funny stories we all retell over and over again! All the while Tim lay motionless but breathing loudly-one of the boys would include him as if he might answer to defend himself at any time. We all knew he wouldn't ..............
A new story emerged about Bub stealing Tim's shotgun shells.............first time we ever heard of it! Arlene told us what Tim had told her and we laughed, knowing that another brother had likely done it and blamed the rebel son,Bub!
After a bit, Bub got right up in front of Tim and spoke loudly as he tapped Tims chest," Hey Tim, I never stole your shotgun shells- that was Bob- he had the shotgun! I just want you to know- I didn't steal 'em. Ya got that? I never stole 'em!"
Then he hugged him and we left for the night.
Another good bye.
A few days later the call came that Tim was gone. We travelled back to Baton Rouge to say our final goodbye- at Tim's memorial service.
Though the sadness hung in the air as we prepared for the service it was quickly dispersed when the first song and short message from a friend, shared Tim's wishes for his own funeral.
The old 70's version of Joy to the World, by Three Dog Night, rocked all of us back to the "good ole' days" and lifted the mood. As each friend shared their thoughts,remembrances and short words of love and respect for this gentle guy we were all transported to an almost happy mood!
Finally, Bub shared a poem that Tim had requested and some of his own thoughts about his brother. It was his final goodbye. He stood tall and confident as he spoke - his smile and humor was genuine - he loved his brother-different as they were- and he said good bye for the last time.