When I visited Darlene recently in the hospital, I asked if I could pray for healing. She said yes, and I prayed for healing each time I saw her, believing in the God who loves us, and leaving the outcome in His hands. During that same conversation, Darlene Carlson said,
She also said she was at peace. Shown above, I put Darlene’s quote into visual expression using a silhouette of mine I use often. I chose it because it seems like Darlene saying, “I am surrendered and have risen above my circumstances and am at home with myself.”
|Darlene Carlson, my Friend, full of Life!|
Darlene is one of the most authentic and caring people I’ve ever known. By being transparent herself, she gave those around her permission to be themselves. In that way, Darlene set the tone for our friendship that began over 20 years ago. We shared honestly, had deep conversations, shared the joys everyday life in raising children, we voiced doubts, worked through misunderstandings, celebrated as family, were silly, and laughed uproariously.
Darlene, passed away last Friday. It is hard to to imagine life without her here. The surreal jumbled fog of grief washes over me now and then. I’m not unfamiliar with it. Each time a loved one dies, grief comes like the first time, taking me off guard all of a sudden, in waves.
Another friend of mine, Mary George-Whittle who is a chaplain for elderly people, ushers 40-50 people into afterlife each year. Five years ago I asked Mary, “How do people die?” She answered, “I’ve found, people die how they live.” That simple statement still challenges me to live well today with a view of eternity. Darlene did that.
With this last relapse of leukemia, Darlene made a list of who she wanted to see and what she wanted to say and then she did it. She didn’t focus on her illness. Darlene was all about relationships. She said it often and lived it. Even in hospice, when I walked in her room, she would ask me the question she always asked, “What’s going on with you?”
We carry each other’s stories. How we carry them matters. Life really is all about relationships.
|A remembrance written for Darlene in the margin space of my May 2015 calendar.|