Friday, January 9, 2009

Tears and Joy . . .

I learned yesterday that someone that I had worked with for nearly 8 years passed away suddenly over the weekend. I last saw her right before the holidays when she gave me 4 large shopping bags filled with toys for my friend's Holiday Toy giveaway project. She was a very kind and generous person with a big heart.

Let me introduce her. Lucie was born in France and although she lived here for many years she really never lost her accent. I thought it was cute. We shared some work responsibilities and worked well together. But the really great thing is that we shared the same passion for travel. She traveled all over the world, spent six months in the bush in Africa, she rode on an elephant in Thailand. She always had the best stories to tell of her travels that always surprised me and made me laugh. When she returned from her trip to the Netherlands she was encouraging me to plan a trip there because she said that I would be amazed at the beauty there. Recently she returned from Vietnam and we exchanged stories having just returned from Spain myself. Whenever we’d get together we would get all work discussions done then we would always find time to talk about travel ideas.

I hesitated to write about this initially because I can be a bit private about very painful things. But I started this blog to talk about the passions in my life like travel and also about the things and people who affect me. The words could no longer be held in. Years ago since the passing of my parents, I decided that I would try to live my life everyday to the fullest because for all we know tomorrow may never come. Lucie did just that! Lucie lived a long and very fulfilling life.

Happy Travels Lucie and thank you so much for all the wonderful stories and travel advice. And especially for your example of living life to the fullest.


  1. Kathy, I am so sorry about the loss of your friend Lucie. But I'm so glad you wrote about it because it's a wonderful tribute to her spirit. And a great reminder to live every day to the fullest!

    Godspeed Lucie.

  2. I'm so sorry, Kathy. I know how hard it is to accept the loss of a dear friend. You have done a beautiful thing by writing this touching tribute to Lucie.

    Everyday is a blessing, live it to the fullest and yes, go to the Netherlands. I also know that you will love it.

  3. Kathy, I am also so sorry to hear about the loss of your dear friend. I am so glad you have so many wonderful memories of her. I am sure her family and friends would be proud of your tribute to her. It sounds like she lived a full and exciting life.

  4. Kathy, it is hard to lose someone we care about and I know that you are feeling the pain of loss right now--a different kind of pain than others. I hope that writing helps with the coping. Often it can do that. Thank you for sharing with us.

  5. Thank you everyone! Very sweet of all of you. Yesterday was quite a shock for me. Hearing the news and and then going through my e-mails . . .one of which was from Lucie wishing me a Happy New Year! It was just overwhelming.

    I visited everyones blogs to try and feel better which I did, talked with friends and family too. But this morning thoughts of her came back again and I was just moved to write about it. Her life was a message that needed to be said out loud and it helped for me to write it out.

    Annie, thank you! I always wear my emotions on my sleeve except for very deep ones but it definitely helped to express it. Loved your Godspeed to Lucie comment! It actually made me tear up . . .

    Maria, since you also say it too. I will definitely put the Netherlands in my immediate future visit plans. Two opinions I completely trust.

    Girasoli, got an email today of her services and a request for testimonials from everyone who cared and worked with her. I'm currently writing one to forward to them. It might give them some comfort knowing how much she meant to people whom she worked with.

    Jane, it definitely has helped to write my thoughts out. Someone at work who sensed my struggle, told me that she would not want us to be sad but to live our lives like she did . . . to the fullest.

    Thank you so much everyone! You are the best! I've got some plans with friends over the weekend so I know just as your words did for me tonight, that they will cheer me up. I'm feeling much better.

  6. I am so sorry to hear about the loss of a good friend. Your post is a great tribute to her and her spirit. Taking her spirit to heart and thinking of her in your future travels will be a way to celebrate what she meant to you.

    I had a good friend who also inspired my travels. She passed away after a quick struggle with breast cancer. I still miss her. But her husband moved on and has since remarried to an absolutely lovely woman who also knew my friend. Life goes on.

    Do go to Holland. I've been there and love it. It is not for everyone. But with an open mind, it is an amazing country.

  7. Hi Marta, I'm sorry for the loss of your friend. Thank you so much for sharing that part of your experience.

    I now have three valued opinions on Holland, so maybe my new destination trip decision has been already made. I'm excited.

    I do feel a whole lot better this morning and have managed to put everything into perspective. And not to downplay my own grief but after reading a couple of sites this morning and thinking about things, I realize that there are far more important struggles being faced by people out there than what I was faced with in losing someone that I really looked up to a lot. I agree with you, I always think of my blogging buddies when I travel and now I think I will always think of Lucie's adventurous spirit. I may even finally tackle Machu Piccu a place that has really intrigued me for so long. Who knows!

    Thanks so much again Marta! I've been keeping up with your Borneo planning. Sounds really fascinating. Have a good one!

  8. Oh my friend Kathy, I am so sorry to hear of your loss. I am right now wrapping you in mental hugs, and keeping you in my prayers. I am so glad you wrote about this, and that you are writing a testimonial. I just wrote about funerals the other day, and how uplifting they are when the focus is on a celebration of the person's life. It keeps our loved ones in our hearts, and honours their memory to share these stories. I am certain Lucie's spirit is somewhere, smiling down on you and wishing you peace.
    Take care, Anne

  9. HI Anne, thank you so much for your kind and wonderful comments. I just read your blog and was so moved and uplifted by your thoughts on how you view funerals as a joyful celebration of a person's life. I think Lucie's services will be just that. They asked for testimonials which I wrote and forwarded to her good friend who is coordinating her services. Lucie was a true free spirit and her services will be held up in the Hollywood hills with lots of flowers (which she loved) and attended by all the people that she touched. And I think it will definitely have a "celebration" tone because that's how I think she would want it.

    I have to say that writing this post helped and writing it was partly motivated by reading your blog the night before. I just love how you are so open with your feelings and I thought that maybe writing out loud would help me and it really did. And after reading everyone's comments and your recent blog entries my heart has become much lighter. A friend is coming with me to Lucie's services and I think that I will still cry but they will include tears of joy as well!

    Thank you so much Anne and to all my blogging friends for your very kind and thoughtful words!

  10. Kathy, thank you for telling us about your friend, Lucie. And I am so sorry for your loss.

    I hope that writing about your friendship has given you some comfort. It is a wonderful tribute to her memory.

    And it was a great idea for you to write a tribute for her funeral, so her other friends and family could know how important she was to others.

    I hope you're feeling a bit better, and I'm sending you big mental hugs (to borrow Anne's delightful phrasing.)

  11. Hi Sandra, thank you so much for your kind and thoughtful comments. It really did help me to write this post about how I felt about Lucie. But reading everyone's thoughtful comments to my post have been the most helpful. It means so much and it has really helped me to see past the sorrow and towards the celebration of Lucie's life and adventurous spirit.

    Today, not too shortly after I read your comments, I was contacted by Lucie's very close friend. He was really moved with my testimonial and asked if I wouldn't mind standing and reading it at Lucie's services. I feel comfortable that I can share my testimonial and stand in front of Lucie's family and friends, because I'll be speaking from the heart and will have all the good thoughts with me from my blogging friends.

    Thank you so much Sandra. And thank you everyone for all of your kind and supportive comments!

  12. Kathy, that is so wonderful that you will be speaking at Lucie's funeral. I did that at my grandmother's funeral a few years ago and I really could feel her spirit there, it was very comforting.

    Change of subject, but did you watch AI last night? What do you think about the new judge? It was a bit weird to me but I think I'll like her. It's going to take some getting used to though, because it's a big change!

    Hope you're having a great week!

  13. Kathy, I am so glad you are reading at Lucie's funeral. What a wonderful tribute and I know it will bring her closer to all those gathered. And we will all be holding you in our thoughts and prayers.

    I am deeply honoured to know that my funeral entry helped in some way. Thank you so much for sharing that!

  14. Hi Anne, thank you for your thoughts and prayers. I told her friend that I feel so privilaged to have known Lucie and would love to share my thoughts.

    I have to tell you that I had to speak to a couple of people today who were really having a hard time as I did. And the really cool thing is that I used what I learned from your post and everyone's comments to comfort them and they were so appreciative.

    One girl said that she was so sad because Lucie never lived to enjoy her retirement years. I told her that I think that Lucie was really happy. She lived a long and fullfilling life doing all the things that she loved doing and that's really the important thing. I shared with her how I felt. How I felt that Lucie's spirit will always be a part of me and I feel so happy to have known her. I felt joy over the thoughts of her and how she touched my life to make it better and that is what I'll remember and celebrate. I told her how I wrote a testimonial and forwarded it to her friend and maybe that will help her to express what Lucie meant to her and also help give comfort to her family and friends. She thought that was a good idea.

    They really appreciated my comments just as I appreciated all the comments given to me. It was really cool how I was able to take what I learned from you and my blogging friends to help them cope with their grief over Lucie's loss.

    Anne, your blog entry was so timely for me and everyone's comments have been so kind and supportive and the effects of them went beyond me and touched others. You all are the best!

    Have a nice weekend Anne!


It's me Trekcapri (aka Kathy). Thanks so much for visiting and leaving a comment.