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I've never seen a night so long...

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My wife’s 92 year-old grandmother died at 1:15 this morning. At one point eleven of us were in the room and all eleven were touching her, watching as each “last breath” took 40 seconds to be replaced by yet one more—for an excruciating 12 hours. And that doesn’t include the previous 48 hours at the hospital with even my 12 and 10 year-old daughters bravely staying overnight to be there for Gram. I’m so proud of those girls. They chose the path least taken for someone else’s sake.

I brought them home to join the two younger kids last night when we realized that the gentle passing we’d hoped for would never come. Death never arrives on our own terms. I’d forgotten that last night and had to be reminded. But they saw what it was like. Solemn, gentle nurses making their rounds, the tears and laughs, our hushed voices, a clock ticking relentlessly in the corner. Yeah, it really does happen to everyone. Now they know. My 12 year-old daughter will play Green Day’s “Time of Your Life” at Friday’s funeral, a four-hour drive from here.

For twelve years of public school Gram rode her horse to a one-room schoolhouse against a backdrop of breathtaking Idaho mountains. Her family and friends were cowboys; she danced and flirted at the grange hall, and taught school for 37 years. She wrote stories, poems and newspaper columns and lost her first husband to an accident on the ranch. An enlarged six-foot sepia of him in chaps and spurs and ten-gallon hat adorns our home today. She raised three strong sons I am proud to call my friends. Her world is passing away and I will miss her.

I’m posting this because it’s something I need to share. It’s something worth knowing too, as she was someone worth knowing. I also wanted express my pride in my children for facing something so grave and fundamental with such courage. They exceed all my expectations and I feel so lucky to know them. My wife, as always, was a rock.

I've never seen a night so long,

When time goes crawling by;

The moon just went behind a cloud;

I'm so lonesome I could cry.

The silence of a falling star

Lights up a purple sky;

And as I wonder where you are,

I'm so lonesome I could cry.

--Hank Williams--

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Sorry about your loss. I hope this will help.


When I must leave you for a little while,please do not grieve and shed wild tears and hug your sorrow to you through the years;but start out bravely with a gallant smile;

And for my sake and in my name live on and do all the things the same,feed not your loneliness on empty days,but fill each walking hour in useful ways;

Reach out your hand in comfort and in cheer and I in turn will comfort you and hold you near;and never never be afraid to die,for I am waiting for you in the sky!

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When my father-in-law passed on earlier this year, one of my best friends sent this to me to share with my family. I hope will add comfort to yours in this time of sorrow.

I wish you and your family well.


At an airport I overheard a father and daughter in their last moments together.

They had announced her plane's departure and standing near the door, he said to his daughter, "I love you, I wish you enough".

She said, "Daddy, our life together has been more than enough. Your love is all I ever needed. I wish you enough, too, Daddy."

They kissed good-bye and she left.

He walked over toward the window where I was seated.

Standing there I could see he wanted and needed to cry.

I tried not to intrude on his privacy, but he welcomed me in by asking, "Did you ever say good-bye to someone knowing it would be forever?"

"Yes, I have," I replied.

Saying that brought back memories I had of expressing my love and appreciation for all my Dad had done for me.

Recognizing that his days were limited, I took the time to tell him face to face how much he meant to me.

So I knew what this man was experiencing.

"Forgive me for asking, but why is this a forever good-bye?" I asked.

"I am old and she lives much too far away. I have challenges ahead and the reality is, her next trip back will be for my funeral, " he said.

"When you were saying good-bye I heard you say, 'I wish you enough.' May I ask what that means?"

He began to smile. "That's a wish that has been handed down from other generations. My parents used to say it to everyone."

He paused for a moment and looking up as if trying to remember it in detail, he smiled even more.

"When we said 'I wish you enough,' we were wanting the other person to have a life filled with enough good things to sustain them," he continued and then turning toward me he shared the following as if he were reciting it from memory. "I wish you enough sun to keep your attitude bright. I wish you enough rain to appreciate the sun more. I wish you enough happiness to keep your spirit alive. I wish you enough pain so that the smallest joys in life appear much bigger. I wish you enough gain to satisfy your wanting. I wish you enough loss to appreciate all that you possess. I wish enough "Hello's" to get you through the final "Good-bye."

He then began to sob and walked away.

My friends and loved ones, I wish you ENOUGH!!!

They say, "It takes a minute to find a special person, an hour to appreciate them, a day to love them, but then an entire life to forget them."

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Sorry to hear about that Bert. Your story is eerily similar to that which accompanied my older brother's death abot 10 years ago.

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Sorry to hear about your loss Bert. It sounds like she was a wonderful person. I'm sure you will do a great job carrying on her memory.

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