Farewell to my friend Patsi

Those of us who work with dying and grieving people always try to work from a place of understanding and compassion, but it's not until someone WE love dies, that we remember the PAIN that death causes the people left behind. Last week I sat by the bedside of my dear friend Patsi Graham for the last two days of her life. It was Patsi who taught me about humility. Not because she talked about it, but because she lived it. Patsi was one of those gentle, loving people for whom nothing was ever too much trouble. She had a passion for life, for her husband Col and for her kids. She lived a life of service to others, to her friends, to the residents she cared for at the hostel, to anyone who needed a hand, but by no means was she sombre. She could party with the best of them.......and she did. She taught me to play the spoons, she introduced me to REAL Irish music (not the diddly dee stuff) and she had an infectious laugh that always resulted in tears.....the happy sort.
I could tell you a million things about my friend Patsi that made her special, but as I said, she was humble and so I'll leave you with her photo, which will tell you all you need to know.
When someone we love dies, it can often make us question ourselves, our beliefs and our purpose. What's it all about? What does life mean? What am I here for? My friend Patsi never spent much time navel gazing, she just got on and did whatever needed to be done to make the world a better place. Maybe this is what true philosophy is all about. Forget the big words and the prognostication. Maybe its as simple as listening to your heart and doing whatever it is that brings you joy, for after all joy is infectious and only comes from a place of genuine benevolence. If we are joyful and bring that joy into the lives of everyone we have contact with surely that's a life purpose?

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