It was a year ago today – precisely at 6:27 PM - that my friend, Regina, died after her battle with breast cancer. Her death has affected me more than any other. In the past, I’ve lost cousins, aunts, uncles, grandparents and a niece, but no immediate family (parents/sibling) or friends. This is the first time I’ve lost somebody with whom I was so close; somebody I saw nearly every day.
A year later, it’s still hard. I can’t even imagine what it would be like to lose a parent because Regina has popped into my head at least weekly since her death…and I had only known her for 4+ years. But since I never associated her with Christmas or birthdays or New Years, I never had to face all of those “firsts” without her. But that hasn’t stopped her from remaining in my thoughts.*
And how fitting is it that I managed to set up a meeting with the tax accountant to go over her estate and trust for later this afternoon? What is that old phrase? The only two things that are guaranteed in life are death and taxes? How ironic that I’m getting to deal with both today.
There’s a part of me that would love get Brad, Ben and Erica together (who were also at the hospital) and go find some helium balloons to release just like we did that night one year ago after we cleaned out Regina’s hospital room. Last year those balloons all had “Get Well” on them…this year they would have to say “We Remember You”.
Which is true because Regina comes up frequently when we all get together – so I know I’m not alone in remembering her.
*Of course, I still manage a trust she set up prior to her passing – but somehow those tasks have taken on a purely business-like role in my life so I don’t attach sentiment to them. When I think of the trust, I don’t think of Regina – I think of the beneficiary. Regina’s memories are much more important to me and tend to hit me randomly when I hear a song, see a movie, deal with something at work or simply find myself walking and daydreaming.
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