In my new book, From Couch Potato to Endurance Athlete – A Portrait of a Non-Athletic Triathlete, I write “lesson learned.” This is where I look at what I wrote and provide the reader with insight into what I discovered through my journey.
In chapter 23, I talk about losing my sister. The lesson learned is, “Appreciate the people who are important to you. Don’t wait to say how you feel because if you wait, it may be too late.”
I was thinking about this the other day when I learned that a friend/work colleague, Mindy Wolfe, passed away. This isn’t the first time in the last few months that someone I was friendly with passed away. Eileen Lichtenstein passed away a few months before. Both of these women were special. They were giving and made an impact on my life. I’m sorry that they were taken so early and that they both had to suffer. It’s so sad.
How I Found Out
I found out about Eileen’s passing from a mutual friend. I’m not sure how he knew and when I reached out to him, he didn’t have any information about a memorial or anything. I felt at a loss not only losing Eileen but that I felt helpless. Some mutual friends reached out to me but again, I had no information.
With Mindy, I learned about her passing from her landlord. The landlord was given a death certificate. She passed away a month before.
Like many of her friends, I knew she had pancreatic cancer for a while. Her neighbor, someone I was close with in High School, kept me updated on her progress and I kept reaching out to Mindy although I rarely heard back from her. I do hope she got the messages I sent her and the gifts I sent her as well. I will never know.
What Saddened Me
The thing that saddened me most was that Mindy didn’t want anyone to know she was sick. She continued to post on FB positive thoughts and comments until about six months ago. Then all went silent.
When I found out about her passing, I felt compelled to put it on Facebook. I knew so many people loved her. She was active in many, many groups and always gave back. But I felt funny about it. Who am I to post? Shouldn’t it come from a family member or relative?
I wondered why her husband didn’t post.
Nothing was said and if I didn’t say anything, everyone would think things were normal and that she was still alive and doing well. So I had a dilemma. Should I hold it back or put it up? I conferred with my High School friend. Beth said I should put it up. She said, “I would want to know.” I agreed.
She meant a lot to a lot of people. I hope she knew how loved she was.
Closure is difficult
The closure is difficult when you can’t attend a funeral, a memorial, or any other type of event celebrating the life of a person that you loved and respected. I felt that way about both Eileen and Mindy. Our community has seen a great loss in both of these amazing women. May their memory be a blessing.