Vale, the Birdwatcher

We received an email from a lovely friend, courageously explaining that she had just been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. She also mentioned she would be starting treatment at Chris O’Brien’s Lifehouse, which may gift her more time. We saw her shortly afterward, and my daughter wrapped her arms around the diminutive Scot. This lady knew that her days were numbered, and prepared those she loved. She showed her husband where everything in the house could be found, and planned her funeral. Her dearest wish was to die at home, and we were very grateful that she was able to do so. The petite bushwalker, social justice advocate, swimmer and birdwatcher fell into slumber last Monday, and yesterday, we celebrated her life. She had enjoyed a crisp glass of wine (or whiskey), films and music, as well as the company of children and animals. A life well-lived. After refreshments were served, my daughter and I went for a stroll, and came across the most magnificent bird mural. “It’s a sign,” she said, and I truly believed it was. Our friend was adaptable, moving countries and going on adventures as others might change clothes. She was also reliable and a meticulous planner. Her traits held her in good stead, as well as those of us whom admired them and hoped to emulate them. The Kingfisher is a member of the Australian Kookaburra family, and is a promise of peace, abundance and love. How apt that we stumbled upon a wall filled with such symbolism?

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3 thoughts on “Vale, the Birdwatcher

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  1. I cannot say how deeply this touched me. I am so sorry what this woman had to go through and where her family and friends have been through. What touched me most is the loving and honoring way you are talking about her. What an amazing and strong woman she must have been. Even more missed she is… sending you warm hugs and love, Raphaela 💖

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  2. I lost my beloved wife to pancreatic cancer and know how unforgiving it is. Virtually always terminal and very, very painful though I know it’s not the same for everyone. I hope your friend didn’t suffer too much at the end and was able to enjoy family and friends around her. I love the mural you found and the significance of it.
    xxx Massive Hugs xxx

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