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Goodbye, Dear Friend

Tuesday afternoon I got a phone call – a scary phone call. The kind of phone call that changes your life. What I first heard was that my friend Debbie’s husband had been in a motorcycle accident. A bad one. I called Lois and then I called Sharon. And I braced myself for what I thought would be the worst – helping Debbie cope with whatever had happened to Steve. And then the phone rang again and I found out that it was actually Debbie who was in the accident. And she didn’t make it.


My dear sweet beautiful friend was coming home from work on her motorcycle and she was hit by a gigantic SUV. She didn’t have a chance, according to what we’ve been told. It wasn’t long after getting the final phone call when Sharon and Lois and Wendy and our other friends were gathered on my deck. And then we all went together to Debbie’s house to offer what little comfort we could to Steve and the rest of Debbie’s family.

I’m trying to be strong but this is a new kind of grieving for me. I’ve lost both my parents and two brothers – one in a motorcycle accident twenty-four years ago. I’ve been to countless wakes and funerals over the years but the loss of a friend, a truly wonderful friend, is a new one for me. And she wasn’t just my friend, she was a friend to Dale and my whole family, too. We camped together and beached together and ate Chinese food together. She was on the beach with me the day I learned to knit. She read this blog and commented frequently. Debbie and her family came to our home every Christmas Eve and they were included in all of our family gatherings.

And every Wednesday night Debbie, Sharon, Wendy, Lois and I gathered to quilt, knit and chat. The five of us talked about everything – politics, religion, family, kids, work, happy things and sad things and scary things. We even joked about what our husbands would do with our stashes if something were to happen to one of us, not that we ever really considered that something actually would happen. Truly, nothing was off limits on our Wednesday nights and we forged an incredible bond with each other. And now one of us is violently, suddenly, just gone.

I feel like things are never going to be the same again.

This Post Has 158 Comments

  1. Carole, my heart just aches for you right now — I am so sorry and will send a prayer for you and for Debbie’s friends and family.

  2. So sad to lose such a dear friend. I’m very sorry for your loss, and for the pain that Debbie’s family and friends feel.

  3. ((((((((((Carole))))))))))
    There are no words…but…May God hold you in the palm of his hand (and Debbie’s other family and friends, as well)
    (((hugs))) again

  4. Carole I am so very sorry for the lose of your dear friend. My heart goes out to you and yours and and to her family as well.

  5. Peace to you and your friend’s family. It sounds like she would have been very touched by your feelings and thoughts.

  6. Carole, my heart goes out to you…I am so very sorry for your loss of a dear friend. My thoughts are with you, your family and her family. May you all find some peace through this time of such senseless tragedy.

  7. So sorry for your loss Carole. Prayers for you, Debbie’s family and your Wednesday night friends during this time.

  8. Carole, I am so sorry to hear this. I can’t even pretend to imagine what it must be like to go through this. You and your family and Debbie’s family will be in my prayers.

  9. Carole, my thoughts are with you. Things never will be the same, but I’m glad you have such wonderful friends around you.

  10. Carole, I send a gazillion hugs, and then a gazillion more…what a tragic loss for so many people. My thoughts are with you, your family, Debbie’s family, and the whole group of friends. I’m sorry, darling lady…wish I could do more.

  11. I’m so sorry about your friend. Life as you knew it will never be the same, but at least you still have the memories of her hidden in your heart and as long as you have those your beloved friend will never be far away.

  12. I am so sorry Carole. I have no good words for you right now, but know I am thinking of you and Debbie and her family.

  13. Things will never be the same, Carole, and my heart breaks for all of you. I know that it will be your faith and faith community that will sustain you, and someday, make sense of it all. Praying for you, and her family.

  14. Carol & Dale, My prayers and sympathies are with you and your family as well as your dear friend’s. What a beautiful friend you lost.

  15. I’m stunned by your news–it truly snatches the breath from one’s throat. Unimaginable. And yet you write of it so beautifully, so eloquently, with such grace. Truly, Carole, your ability to honestly communicate your most profound feelings is a marvelous gift. I’m sure it will bring Debbie’s family and other friends comfort over the next days, and later. . .

    I find myself smiling at the image of a friend bold enough to ride a motorcycle–I’ve always wanted to, but never felt I’d be able to pull it off–she must have been bold, and confident, and sure of herself. What a terrible loss.

    Thank you for sharing this and for demonstrating how to face pain unflinchingly and with great courage. My heavy heart goes out to you, friend.

  16. We wish we could be there with all of you, for anything you need, comfort, hugs, etc. We all love Debbie and will really miss her, too. She always had a smile on her face and was always there to lend a hand. She was a wonderful friend indeed. Sending our love…

  17. Oh Carole, I am so very sorry. I hope you all find some little piece of comfort in all the wonderful memories that Debbie will always be a part of.

  18. No, my dear friend, they will not be the same again. Your friend Debbie is an incredible loss. I am so sorry for this. What a deep sorrow to lose someone so young and so dear.
    I am here when you need to talk and vent – and it’d be okay to call anytime. all my love, and many tearful hugs of sympathy…. my heart aches for all who knew her.

  19. (((Carole))) I know that you, Wendy, Sharon, and Lois will support each other as well as Steve’s family through this terrible time. Sending prayers of support and healing to your hearts.

  20. Oh my Gosh Carole – I am so sorry! Just being with her family when they need you will be helpful. My friend (who helped me learn how to spin) just lost her husband three weeks ago and it has been so hard for her.

    You are all in my prayers.

  21. My sincere condolences. It seems impossible that she is gone. We plan future projects like we’ll be knitting forever…just sometimes forever is a very short time. God be good to her.

  22. Holy crap! That’s awful! Let me add to the hundred others and say how sorry I am!! I didn’t know the lady but anything like that is always the biggest of tragedies!

  23. I am so incredibly sorry about your friend Debbie. What a truly heartbreaking loss. I have lost two very dear cousins (more like brothers to me) on motorcycles. My thoughts and prayers are with all and my MOST heartfelt sympathy.

  24. How sad – I’m so sorry for your loss, Carole. I’ll keep you & Debbie’s family in my prayers.

    Hopefully your vacation will help you to heal a little?

  25. Carole, I am sorry you have lost such a good friend. Have you written to her? Sometimes it helps when there isn’t a chance to say good-bye.

  26. I can’t imagine what you’re feeling. But I hope that you and your dear friends will help each other grieve and heal. May the joyful memories help to fill the void. Remember the times you laughed together, and find the things in life at which she would laugh …. then laugh with her again.

  27. Carole, I’m so sorry for your loss. It’s unimaginable. There are no words but thankfully it sounds like you’ve got a ton of great memories and I hope that helps.

  28. As always, Carole, you are the one of us who has the “words.” You can say what all the rest of us didn’t know how to express and wished we could. I couldn’t even come here until today to see what you said about Deb – it was just too raw a wound. I think she would be a bit embarrassed at the love and praise but also secretly pleased, and we all surely know she was a treasure in our lives and there is a space that will never be filled in our hearts.

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