Wednesday, July 28 2021 - 10:06 AM
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Goodbye Kathryn

I was upset for days after she died of Covid. I shouldn’t have been. I never met her or heard her voice. I only knew that she was a prolific writer. She’d inspired me unwittingly because of what others had said about her. I knew about her even before Facebook was the place to be seen and heard, and that’s where I finally sent a friend request. She graciously allowed me to could follow her.

We both wrote for children, initially. We joined a few of the same writing groups where she would post about her submissions and acceptances. I wanted to be her. And then she branched out into other areas. She wrote for religious publications, and I began to do the same. She would have dozens of stories and articles out in the time it took me to do five. I was so impressed but also felt like a slacker.

She had one daughter, and there were wedding pictures. She loved flea markets, and we got to see her finds. Then there was a grandbaby coming, and no potential grandma was more excited. We all counted down the days with her and cheered her on. An adorable little boy made his debut shortly thereafter. I commented, “You are going to be such a good grandma!” By all accounts and pictures, she was.

But one day last month, she reported not feeling well, and a few days later, she posted she had to go to the hospital. Oh, no. She had Covid. She was miserable and hated having to be there. She stayed in touch from her hospital bed for a while. I’m sure I’m not the only one who thought she’d be out and loving on her little boy sooner rather than later. Of course, she would.

The lost Battle

And then there was nothing for almost a week. I’d gotten busy and had neglected to check her page. One night just before dinner, I wondered how Kathryn was doing, so I logged on to check on her. There it was, a post from a dear friend of many years telling us that she had lost her battle with the virus.

At first, my mind refused to grasp it. What? I read it again. And, stupidly, I wondered what that meant. There was a war, and a battle could be lost, but not the whole war, right? So how was she? It took at least an hour and two of more readings for it to sink in. Sometimes you lost the war in the last battle. My Facebook friend whom I’d never met or spoken to, whom I admired and had followed for years, was gone.

I was numb for a few days and kept going back to her page for updates. Her close friends and daughter were posting about church services with dates and times. The life and legacy that was Kathryn was fading and becoming past tense. I feel true sadness at this, but I’m heartened that her family let us know that she loved the Lord. I’m accepting that she’s no longer alive on this earth. Someday I’ll meet her face to face and hear her voice, but for now, all I can quietly say is, “Goodbye, Kathryn.”

If you enjoyed this, you might like, A Smile Brings Hope | When it Hits too Close

Susan Sundwall writes from New York.

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About Susan Sundwall

Susan Sundwall

writes from New York.

One comment

  1. What a beautiful and heartfelt article. My heart goes out to you, Susan, and to Kathryn and her family. COVID is bad enough in our world, but when it hits someone we know, it hits our hearts even more.

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