Monday, November 29, 2010

Sandie Memorial

I talked to Sandie's Sister today ... the one who shares Power of Attorney with me, as we work to resolve all of the mundane issues related to Sandies estate, will, and wishes.

Sandie has told her sister that there will be no funeral, no memorial service, no "Remembrance Ceremony" or "Celebration of Life".

I'm not certain that this is the best possible decision, but it is not mine to make.

Those who remain behind -- friends and relatives of the deceased -- have been assured that funerals are for the friends and family, so they can find "closure". And perhaps it also serves the purpose of allowing people to eulogize a loved one, but that's just a guess.

Nobody knows what Sandie was thinking when she made this decision, but I have an idea about that.

Last Christmas ... December 26, 2009, I attended a memorial service for Sherry Orpwood, a friend and a member of the local IPSC community. Sherrie had been fighting cancer for a year, with various ups and down, and finally lost her long fight. Sherrie had been very helpful when Sandie was first diagnosed with Cancer, and gave Sandie suggestions on how to deal with the various road-bumps of chemotherapy (which we later discovered can not be made any easier ... it's all bad.)

When I went to the service, I discovered that it was all too immediate, and too personal for me to handle. Her husband (Loren, whose name I suspect I consistently manage to misspell) was working to handle his emotions but it was all too raw for him.

As the service continued, I found myself becoming increasingly emotional. At the end of the service, I bolted out of the church, into my car, and spent ten minutes in a supermarket parking lot just trying to find an emotional level which would allow me to drive safely.

When I got back home, I told Sandie how traumatic I found the service. She said nothing at the time, but I suspect this is part of the reason why she decided against a public ceremony. She is still trying to protect "other people", regardless of the cost to herself.

She has always been the most unselfish person I have ever known.


In the aftermath of my attempt find and notify every person whose life has impinged upon Sandie's life (and she, upon theirs), I have been comforted by the outpouring of dozens upon dozens of letters of regret from those who not only knew her personally, but who knew OF her. She has been the subject of prayers for the past 29 months, and I know that they have helped both her and me.

One of my best memories of Sandie may have been the time a couple of years ago, at an IPSC match at Albany Rifle and Pistol Club, when Sandie was RO'ing a stage at a club match.

Most of us were chatting with each other inside the covered bay when Sandie realized that nobody was "working the stage" after the shooter completed his run.

Her response was to face the squad and shout: "Hey, you guys! Get off your ass and get out here and tape these targets!"

Just in case anyone wonders why I called her "She Who Must Be Obeyed".

Not just everybody gets to be a Legend.

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