Having lost my dad at 20 (he was 50), my grandfather 3 weeks later and my grandmother 8 months after that, I like to think of myself as a seasoned griever. All that means is I know that time really does dull the initial blow, but it doesn't avoid the process nor does it lighten that blow. The worst lesson perhaps, is that you can't really help other people who are grieving; you can only hold their hand till their heart mends.
So now I am grieving a truly dear friend, although I can't quite believe she's gone so I'm not sure I'm in the "grief" stage yet. Some know her as blogger Lakeland Jo; she got the bloggy bug after she read a few of my posts and never a finer writer was there. Somehow she made her blog a window to her spirit and her soul in a way that few of us can. And my, what a spirit! As you'll see if you read the above link, she fought to make it to a few landmark dates; that was Jo.
Jo and I first met when I became her boss, way back in 1988. Although she called me the "Ayatollah". we became firm friends, and remained in constant touch after my move to the States in 1990. With her family, (darling husband and light-of-her-life son) she visited me in the States twice, and we vacationed in England together several times too.
I don't know; although she knew her cancer had become incurable, she fought and fought, and it seemed her light would never go out. But it did this morning, and the world is a much dimmer place without her.
Joanne Dyson McGowran
Jo, I can't imagine the future without you but I'm honoured to have had you in my life.
You showed us all how to live, and laugh, and love - every day.
I will truly miss you.