Saying good-bye to a valued friend is one the saddest experiences I have ever had. I have known Gwen for about 25 years, and she was a big part of my life for a good 15 of those years.
Gwen is 83 years old and until a few months ago was in pretty good shape. Since November she's had a nagging back ache, but was able to go out at night and entertain visitors during the day. Last week she suffered a minor heart attack and was taken to the local hospital. After a few days and the standard battery of tests it was determined that she had stage 4 cancer in her spine and lungs. Rick and I got a phone call Sunday morning from her granddaughter saying she had cancer, but that she hadn't been told yet. We visited with Gwen Sunday morning for a few hours. It was obvious that she was ill. She had lost at least 50 lbs since the last time I saw her, and she had that 'cancer' look, if you know what I mean.
She was quick witted and up for a good visit, so the three of us talked and laughed and remembered for a few hours. Saying good bye was tough, because Rick and I could see that the chances were slim that she'd be leaving the hospital.
She hasn't passed on, yet. But with kidney failure occurring and not responding to stimuli this morning...chances are good she'll be leaving us today or tomorrow.
Pray for her, for her family and for those of us honored to be called her friend.