I Hate These Good-byes

Even the earth was unsettled by Bruce’s death. 

It wasn’t just raining, it wasn’t just pouring, the rain was hitting the ground so hard and so fast, it splashed up like it was trying to get back to the clouds, only to turn around again and come thundering down.   Speaking of thunder, at the burial, the thunder was so loud and so close, we could barely hear the rabbi’s voice. But earlier in the afternoon, Bruce’s memorial service had a calm, serene feel to it that only funerals have.  Not a hush of sound except for the eulogies from a wife who remembered her husband with love, compassion and humor…from a young daughter who bravely spoke about the Dad she and her brother admired, challenged and loved so deeply.  Bruce left them far too early,but in the years he had with them, he gave them so many life lessons and great memories. One of his oldest friends filled-in the gaps of Bruce’s life when he was a care-free young man. When cancer was just a word, not a reality and when the first few chapters of Bruce’s “Book of Life” were barely complete.

Bruce was my friend….a good friend.  We shared many good times together.  There were four of us, then.  Lisa and Bruce and Leroy and Laurie.  There are two of us now.  Cancer cut us in half.

In his final year of life, Bruce was a warrior.  I called him that many times and I will always remember him that way when I think about how he faced his cancer.  He didn’t complain even though this nasty beast of a disease threw everything it had at him,  as he tried to handle a risky bone marrow transplant.  And, like many times with cancer, it wasn’t the disease that cast the final blow, but the combination of all the other problems that came from treatment, medicines and wear and tear on a body that just couldn’t muster one more rally.  He was ‘out of fight’ and as many of you know, that’s what the beast waits for as it calls death to the door.

I hate these good-byes. 

I hate what this disease does to families and friends.  I’m going to miss my friend.  But I know how tired he was and I know he is resting now…in peace.  I hope that helps his family in what ever way it can.  

Be at peace, Bruce.  Please, be at peace.

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