I want you to laugh

It has been a week since the Final Farewell and celebration of life for my dear friend, Claire. Our friendship, cultivated over 30 years, was rich with laughter, joy and a touch of mischief. We didn’t allow cancer to steal that and continued to celebrate life, share laughter and lattes, and create memories which will always make me smile. 💞

But grief is difficult to navigate, and at times overwhelming.  So often when someone dies the message we hear is, “Rest in Peace”.  I have never liked that phrase, and even less so, the acronym “RIP”.  So instead, I penned and posted this letter.  The response was overwhelming. We all need to find a way to carry our grief, and this has helped me, as well as others who loved her. 

Dear Claire,

You know me, always the rebel…I don’t want you to rest in peace. I know…can you believe it?

I want you to laugh. I want you to breathe and move with ease. Free of pain at last, I want you to golf, garden, walk and ride your bike. I want you to cruise in the ’66, windows down, music blasting. I want you to have shopping, lunch and movie dates. I want you to wander through your flower garden as you sip your morning coffee. I want you to enjoy a glass of wine, or two, as you watch sunsets from your favourite balcony in Maui.

I want you to look others in the eye and truthfully say, “I’m fine,” or better yet, “I’m fabulous!” I want your treasured moments of solitude to be free of worry and concern. I want you to sleep only because you are tired from a day well spent.

All those things cancer stole from you, I want you to have back. No resting easy for you my friend.  I want you to be joyful, content and happy. I want you to do whatever you damn well please, whenever you want. And just maybe you can find a friend or two, to stir up trouble with…but only the good kind, of course! 😉

Always with much love and laughter,



Final Farewell

For as much as death is a part of life, we frequently get it wrong when attempting to offer comfort.  Support often needs no words.  We can be there for each other and simply allow the grief.

Final Farewell

A river of cards swells across the dining room table.
Overwhelming sadness grips my heart.
Sympathetic words echo in my mind.
Some offer comfort; others try…
“The suffering is over.”
“It was meant to be.”
“He’s at peace now.”
“It’s a blessing.”
Why do they feel the need to rationalize death?
No amount of logic will fill the vast emptiness I feel.
I have lost someone I love.
Allow me my sorrow.
Allow me my tears.
Allow me to grieve.
In time, I will move on, but not yet, not today…
It is time to reflect on a lifetime of memories,
to celebrate the time we had together,
to say a final painful farewell.

Sandi Knight
February 16, 2010