Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Saying Goodbye to My Chronic Friend Laurie from Hibernationnow

Laurie heading to her next destination. 
It's been a little over a month since my friend Laurie passed away from acute interstitial pneumonitis, a form of acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS).

During her illness, her husband Dan kept all of her Facebook friends informed of her situation with posts to her timeline. I truly appreciated him taking the time to include us, even though most of us had never met him or Laurie in-person.

After he shared the news that she has lost her battle, he made the generous offer to post our tributes on her blog. You can read my tribute here: In Memory - Selena: Until We Meet Again.

I found it very difficult to write the post I submitted. I think it was because I felt like I wasn't a very good friend to Laurie because of my chronic illnesses. I felt like our friendship had a lot of pauses - times when our conversation got put on hold because one or both of us were having problems with our health that precluded all other activities, including socializing. Now that she is gone, I mourn all those lost opportunities for getting to know each other better.

Laurie got sick in February 2015,  just around the time I was recovering from fibroid surgery at the end of January. Given the nature of her recent illness, her progression from having the flu to pneumonia to respiratory failure, I missed the opportunity to talk to her before she got placed on a ventilator.

Sadly she was never removed from the ventilator.

I know for certain that her suffering has ended and for that I feel grateful.

I also keenly feel the loss of her presence in my life. There will be no more blog posts, tweets or Facebook status updates. I can't just send her a quick Facebook message, text or call her up on the phone. All these little ways we had to keep in touch with each other, ways I assumed we'd always be able to keep in touch, no longer connect me to her.

I do admire the way that her husband handled this whole situation and the efforts he made to keep her chronic friends in the loop during this difficult time. I see myself having a conversation with my own hubby soon about how I'd like him to handle things should something happened to me. Because the reality of my life with chronic illness is that most of my friendships really do take place through social media now.

Please head over to Laurie's blog Hibernationnow and read all the tributes posted there. They are a heartfelt collection of remembrances for someone who was special and important to me and a lot of other people living with fibromyalgia, dysautonomia, Hashimoto's thyroiditis, chronic fatigue syndrome and a host of other chronic illnesses.

I made the effort to write my post in Laurie's unique and original style, something a bit different from my voice here on my own blog. I felt like putting myself in her writer's shoes was the best way for me pay tribute to her.

And yes, she actually appeared in one of my dreams the day that she died, as if to nudge me in the direction she wished me to explore in my post.

Until we meet again Laurie, (((gentle hugs))), love and fondest thoughts.

Your very real Facebook friend and fellow chronic illnesses warrior,


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