Saturday, January 21, 2012

Good Grief....

Gathering after the book signing...
Joan is the lady on my right... (blue sweatshirt, blue jeans)

Blessings, as do friends come in a variety of packages sharing a wealth of gifts that may go unrecognized until the unspeakable occurs. This is precisely what happened this week as a treasured friend suddenly passed away.

Joan and I shared many passions; first and foremost teaching and children, but particularly the child harboring difficult circumstances. We shared the wonderment and significance of dreams and God’s role in our lives. We both felt you could never have enough colored pens and our mutual love of writing was a source of much banter. Our conversations came easy and frequently took us to diverse worlds in a matter of minutes.

Joan displayed her flamboyant personality with dazzling, sparkly tiara’s and boas. She was comical, witty and engaging but always candid and direct—she spoke her heart. Joan encompassed many traits I aspire to embrace.
True to life, the glitzy exterior hid significant life’s struggles which made Joan stronger but nothing more noteworthy than the death of her husband of forty years in Sept., 2008. In Feb., 2011 Joan’s best friend Judy died who was our school librarian, followed by her beloved dog and Lizzy, her classroom pet lizard.

When I was notified of Joan’s unexpected death on Tuesday in my inner being I believed Joan died of a broken heart. Too much loss, too much sadness…
It was through these circumstances I was even more thankful for the occurrence of my book signing in Ohio in November in which I was able to see Joan. She talked of her pride in my accomplishment and spoke of her own interest in publishing a book entitled, ‘Good Grief’. She had a desire to support others through the grieving process with laughter and joy.

I wish she would have gotten around to writing this book as many of us might benefit from it right now. Her friends will gather in Ohio today to celebrate her life, and it was truly one worth celebrating. Although I will only be there in spirit I know Joan entered Heaven’s gates uniting with Judy and Doug with her ostentatious gaudiness of Mardi gras beads around her neck and a crown of glory exclaiming, ‘Dear God, let the party begin!’
"To live in hearts we leave behind is not to die. "
Thomas Campbell


31 comments:

Mamma has spoken said...

Hugs and prayers headed your way!
I too have had many friends from work die recently. So many, many of us are worried that it has something to do with the old part of the building that each had work in and each of us had worked in too at some time in the past. It's hard to have one who is still young not to be with us on a daily bases.....

Betsy from Tennessee said...

So very sorry to hear of the death of your friend, Joan, Tracy... Sounded like she had experienced many tragedies... How sad...

I will keep her, her family --and all of her loved ones, including you, in my prayers.
Hugs,
Betsy

Daisy said...

I'm so sorry to hear of the death of your friend, Tracy. She sounds like she was a delightful person to be around and a good friend to have. Hugs to you.

Out on the prairie said...

It is sad to lose such a good friend.I like your final quote, we do carry them always in our hearts.

TexWisGirl said...

oh my goodness. i am so sorry. she sounds like a truly wonderful soul!

Jeanie said...

What a nice tribute to your friend. I'm sorry for your loss and so glad you got to see her recently. You describe her as a person who had a life well-lived.

Old Kitty said...

I'm so sorry to hear of the death of your wonderful, beautiful and very talented and creative friend. My sincerest condolences. Please take care
x

2 Tramps said...

Such a poignant post. Your friend's leaving and your sharing inspires us all to live life fully. Thank you!

Marydon said...

Beautiful share of your precious friend, Tracy. May she sit at the feet of Jesus, may He bring comfort & love to you all.

Have a beautiful weekend ~
TTFN ~
Hugs,
Marydon

Island Pixie said...

Such a beautiful remembrance. I wish I could have met her!

Margaret (Peggy or Peg too) said...

I am so sorry for the loss of such a great woman and friend to you Tracy.
She sounds like a wonderful woman.

Hugs
Peg

Inger said...

I'm so sorry for your loss, Tracy. That's very sad and I wish she had had some happy moments after all her own losses.

Sylvia K said...

I am so sorry for the loss of your friend, Tracy, and what a wonderful woman she was! I know she will be missed. She had born so much sorrow with such grace. I, too, hope that now she is exclaiming, "Let the party begin"!

Sylvia

Deborah said...

Your friend sounded just wonderful, I'm so sorry. It made me smile to think of her saying ‘Dear God, let the party begin!’ this is such a lovely tribute to her.
Sending much love your way x

Wanda's Wings said...

I'm so sorry for your loss.

Brian said...

I am so very sorry to hear about Joan. Hopefully some day someone will tell her untold story.

Kim said...

Beautiful, Tracy :) I wore my boa and everything was wonderfully done. So many stories to be shared and many former students celebrated Joan's life. The memory books that she has kept through the years provided for quiet reflection and laughs!! We know you were with us in spirit--and I am forever grateful that you brought us all together in late November. Lots of love, Kim

Ginny said...

I'm so sorry for this loss, what else can I say? She sounds like she was just a wonderful person, you were blessed to have known each other.

Marg said...

Big hugs to you.We are so sorry about the death of your friend. That is so sad. We know you are hurting and that was a lovely tribute to her. Take care.

Denise at Autumn Sky said...

This is a lovely tribute to your friend. We all suffer loss so it's important to keep the memories alive in our hearts and minds.

Peggy K said...

Oh, Tracy. I'm so sorry to hear about your loss. As far as being "present" your mind was exactly where it should have been.

I can't help but think tht maybe Joan telling you about her book idea has something to do with you writing your next book...maybe??

Part of one of my favorite verses to put on the sympathy cards I make is: "...as long as we have those memories, the people we love will live on in our hearts and minds."

Such a comforting thought. I give you that. And a hug.

Nancy @ A Rural Journal said...

So sorry, Tracy. That must have been quite a shock to you. Sad -- she looks so young and happy in the photo. Big hugs coming your way.

Journaling Woman said...

Things like this brings sadness to my heart. But your friend felt the spark of hope or she wouldn't have written about her experience. Her hope was to help someone else.

Catherine said...

I am so sorry for your loss. Sending you extra big hugs!
xo Catherine

Tina said...

Tracy, I'm so sorry for the loss of your good friend. She sounded like a wonderful person and a wonderful friend to have. I hope your memories will help you. You wrote a lovely tribute to her.

Lin said...

Aw, pally. I'm so sorry to hear that you lost your friend. Your tribute was lovely, I'm sure she was honored to be your friend.

Sounds like she had a lot of heartache that last year. :(

Just Be Real said...

I am sorry to read of your friends passing. Safe hugs.

Sarah (Nikki) said...

sorry to hear about your friend. On another note...love your book cover. I'm going to check it out more.

Nezzy said...

I'm so very sorry for your loss sweetie but I can feel the warmth of Joan's smile of the wonderful tribute.

I'm sendin' you some big old prayers and hugs your way sweetie.

God bless ya!!!

Debby@Just Breathe said...

I am so sorry for the loss of your dear friend. It does sound like a broken heart. How sad that she had to live through so many painful things in the last few years.
((HUGS)) Keeping you in my thoughts and prayers.

LTM said...

So sorry you lost your friend Joan. :o( ((big hugs)) to you and here's sending all the best to her family. Take it easy~ <3