Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Saying Goodbye to a Friend



There are people who come into your life and touch you in ways you can't even begin to describe properly -- they're that important and meaningful to you.   Just such people are Barry and Allegra.


I was taken under Allegra's wing when I joined a Yahoo bead group years ago, and after lots of emails and chats, met her and her husband at a Bead and Button show.  It was like we'd known each other forever.  Sadly, Barry had just been diagnosed with not one but two cancers.  You never would have known it to hang out with him that week, and he blazed past doctor's dire predictions. 


Then came more horrible news -- not only did Barry have two cancers, but now Allegra was fighting cancer, too.  This is about the time I had a long talk with the sky and asked WHY do things like this HAPPEN?  


Through all this, they've been stoic and strong.  We still emailed and called, and I remember quite fondly Barry and I conniving on how to get Allegra's favorite and very hard to find tequila (legally) across state lines for her birthday.  Giggling like school kids were we -- Allegra is very hard to buy for and we knocked her socks off with that one.  


It was easy to forget Barry was sick.  He sounded robust on the phone, would write up Allegra's blog posts and emails when she was too sick to do it, and he had just been doing so WELL.  Allegra's health kept scaring us and I've asked for prayers for her before, but she always rallied and Barry was always her rock.


This weekend, that changed.  He had taken a sudden turn for the worse, and we were told to expect the imminent. 


Monday, at age 59, Barry passed.  And I don't know what to do.  


I don't know what to do for Allegra, who is still battling a vicious cancer.  I don't know what to say, how to help.  We live all the way across the country from each other.  I love her, I loved Barry (still do) and I am angry and saddened by this loss.  They are like parents to me, in a way -- friends, mentors, no-nonsense sounding boards.  


I write this to memorialize a beloved person gone way too soon, and to express absolute love for a friend way too far from me.  A lot of people come into my life, but I've been touched by this family in a majorly endearing and important way. 


Please think of Allegra right now.  I believe that whether or not you know someone, if you beam good thoughts and prayers their way, they'll light upon their shoulders and comfort them.  You don't have to know someone to have compassion or to care.


Much love to you all.




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Lori Anderson creates jewelry and bead kits as well as collaborative mixed media art with her son, Zack.  Visit her shops by clicking here.  She is also the creator of the Bead Soup Blog Party®   and author of the book Bead Soup.


55 comments:

  1. I am so sorry Lori. I pray for Barry and send strength and love to Allegra.

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  2. I am so sorry for your loss Lori. I will add Allegra & Barry to my prayer list. Cancer is such a cruel disease. My two best friends died from it and I am battling thyroid cancer. Please know you are all in my thoughts and prayers.. God Bless

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  3. Oh, no no no. You know I've lost contact with them for some time, and have been expecting the bad news about her for awhile. But not sweet Barry. My heart goes out to the amazing Allegra. She and the world have lost an exceptional human being.

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  4. Sending good thoughts to her and to you. *hugs* Loosing a friend with a huge distance between you is hard. I lost a friend several years ago- she was killed in a car accident along with her unborn babies, leaving her fiance injured but alone to pick up the pieces. It was so hard to not be there for him or for the others who'd lost her. Talk and write while you can and if you reach a point where it's not enough, consider going to visit.

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  5. My heart aches because I know how much yours is...sending prayers and positive thoughts to Allegra and also to you. Much love...

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  6. I'm so sorry. My sincere sympathies.

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  7. I keep going to type something, and then stop, and wipe my eyes, and try again. There is nothing realy to write. I will say a prayer for Allegra, and family, and hug my loved ones tighter today. And I am thankful that these wonderful people could be remembered and blessed in such a beautiful way by your post. Your heart shines Lori!

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  8. Oh, Lori, I'm so sorry. You didn't need this on top of everything else. I'm sorry for your loss and that you don't live near Allegra. My best friend from college has been battling a couple of kinds of cancer, too. It was diagnosed a month after she retired. Cancer took my mom and my older brother, too. I hate cancer with a white hot passion. I hope you find peace, Lori.

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  9. I am so sorry for your loss. Please pass on my condolences to Allegra.

    The strength of those facing death is nothing short of amazing and is a lesson in how to live.

    You will miss him terribly. I know it is a cliche, but it is true: Barry will live forever in your heart. You will remember him a decade from now and smile at the joy he brought to your life. You will remember the lessons he taught you 20 years from now.

    What I learned from death is that what is important in life is not only who you love but also who loves you. Nothing else is as important. You and Allegra have been blessed to have had Barry in your life.

    What grief taught me is cry as you need to and laugh whenever you can- it is what the people who love you would wish.

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  10. Lori I am so sorry for the loss of your friend. Sending prayers and healing thoughts. (((hugs)))

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  11. Knowing the passion you put into friendships and the love you emit I know that both Barry and Allegra were just as blessed with your friendship and love. I promise you this my friend I will send Allegra all the caring thoughts I can that she receives what she needs and wants at this time in her life.

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  12. A tender-heart like me ended up crying once I reached the end. I'm sorry, please pass hugs on to Allegra and have one for yourself. Once again I'm sorry.

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  13. AJ said what was in my heart so eloquently, that I don't have anything to add except that thoughts and prayers are being sent to you and Allegra.

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  14. Dear Lori,
    My Grandpa is fighting a battle with Leukemia and my Grandma is fighting a battle with skin cancer. It's never easy. *sniffs*

    Just know that I'm with you in spirit through this rough time. Sending love and good juju your way...

    <3,
    Andrea

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  15. Healing Hugs Dear Lori. I am so saddened by your loss of Barry. I know now he is not suffering any longer. Prayers for Allegra and may she find the strength in your love to carry on. You are doing what you can do. Asking for strength and prayers from your friends and knowing we do care. Blessings my friend...

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  16. Lori I am sorry to hear of your loss. You claim that you don't know what to say, I guess we all feel that way when something happens, But you said it here, very well to us.I Hope being able to say it here helped you. I will gladly send positive thoughts to Allegra. KJ's last line said it very well.

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  17. I'm sending positive vibes to both you and Allegra. Cancer is just *so* unfair.

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  18. It's so hard when we lose someone, like having a hole in your blanket of loved ones.
    God bless Barry, may his memory be eternal. And may Allegra have the strength she needs and the health to keep going.

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  19. I'm so sorry, Lori ... I hold you all tenderly in my thoughts.

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  20. tonight, there is a candle burning in Ohio for Allegra and for you Lori. Loss of someone so caring and special often makes us wonder why so often it is the good who are afflicted and not the "dirty rotton scoundrels". It makes us angry when good people suffer. I had two friends once. She battled breast cancer and was winning. Then he was diagnosed with brain cancer. they were wonderful people, folks who helped everyone like they were family. When I found out about Ken, I said to Juanita. "Why the heck is it YOU? Why not some jerk?" She said to me "why child, who else could handle it like we will? We have lots of family and friends and we are strong in our faith". shut me right up.

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  21. I feel your heart, your love. Sending healing thoughts. And tonight I'm thinking of a dear family friend - our neighbor the 25 years I lived across the street - I hear today she may not be well, she's already a cancer survivor I'm reeeeally hoping she is not setting up for another round. I feel you.

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  23. No words, only prayers.

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  24. I am not good with words, so all I would say is that I think of you and especially Allegra. What a terrible time this is for all of you!

    Bead Soup Mix

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  25. I'm so sorry for your loss and I'm sending positive thoughts and energy to Allegra.

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  26. I am so sorry for this loss and how you must feel. Your last paragraph is so true. When my son in law died three months ago the most uplifting and comforting messages came from people I did not even know who answered my blog. They kept me going when I wanted to stop going. Prayers and positive thoughts are vital to those who are suffering and it does help. I will be thinking about you and your dear friend and send positive thoughts and prayers.
    Katherine

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  27. I'm so sorry, Lori. I'm sending prayers to you and Allegra, and can only hope that she knows just how much she and Barry have meant to people.

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  28. Wishing you and Allegra well. Life is so very precious -- as is LOVE.

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  29. I'm so sorry for your loss, Lori. Great friends and beautiful souls come into our lives so rarely that their loss seems doubley hard. My thoughts and prayers will be going out to your friend and to you.

    Blessings to you all.

    Lisa

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  30. I am so sorry to hear about your loss Lori. This year has been an awful one for me to. Lost my mom in June my Grandma last week, my dad started to see another woman the Monday after my moms burial on a Saturday and now I have a friend who was just diagnosed with breast cancer. It simply sucks all of it and I to wonder what can I do and say. I ask my higher power to help me be the person that can be of service for that one moment, for that one special person in my life. Be you, I so see through your blogs your caring soul and spirit. You refresh all of us in this journey of life. Grief and loss are so much better to get through when we share it with each other. Thanks for sharing.

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  31. Sending love and light Allegra's way ... sending love and hugs your way.

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  32. I'm so, so sorry. For all of you. I don't know what to say - that disease is so terrible!

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  33. Cheryl W.11:00 AM

    I'm so sorry Lori. I will definitely be praying for all of you.

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  34. I'm sorry for your loss. I understand the frustration you must feel not being able to help more. We've moved so often I have friends in different states and countries and I am often frustrated I can't help if they are in the hospital, give them a hug, help take care of them when they are overwhelmed by life. It sucks. I have to believe that them knowing you care about them and are thinking about them is enough when there's not more you can do than call, write, wish them health and happiness, and send little gifts. Try to focus on how much you are enriched by knowing them and them by knowing you.

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  35. Lori,
    I am so
    sorry for your loss and send prayers for friend lost, for you, and for Allegra...I can not even imagine how she must be feeling.
    I am so upset and angry right now. I read the posts of so many others fighting the same fight.
    I myself lost my mother back in the 70's she was 52, my aunt she was 54...and several friends. Not to mention my other friends and my sister and cousin who survived cancer.
    Now my son-in-law is fighting...he was diagnosed in Jan with stage 3 Hodgkins....he is 24. He has already failed 3 treatments...but they are NOT using the treatment they feel would work and are using an alternative with a much lower rate of success because of insurance.
    I am so tired of our Government turning a blind eye while our food, water and air is poisoned. Where the FDA is so corrupt they hide life saving cures so the big drug co's can make $$$ on what they know doesn't, and let's an insurance co decide what treatments you get...all in the name of greed.
    Honestly...I pray for us all!
    Please everyone...read up on Co. like Monsanto, Dupont, Dow...etc. And take a good long look at the FDA....this needs to stop!!

    Sorry Lori...I apologize for the rant....and wish you the all the best...I am so sorry for your loss.
    Patty

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  36. My prayers for comfort and peace are offered for you, Allegra and her family. Moreover, my prayers for healing and strength go up for Allegra at such a difficult time. God is good and guides us through our dark valleys - patience and faith....

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  37. Oh, Sweet and tender Lori, I am so sorry for your aching heart. Just try to remember that Barry has just turned the cornor to the BEST of LIFE. fOR GODs best for us is to be at home with HIM. I am loving you. Be blessed to be a blessing

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  38. Oh no Lori, I lost contact with Allegra quite a while back I did have her blog but it disappeared, so I thought she was not writing one anymore. I am so sorry to hear this dreadful news Allegra has my prayers and I am giving her a mental hug please keep me posted if you can.
    Jackie

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  39. Lori, huge hugs to you and to Allegra! What a terrible loss.

    Sometimes I wish cancer was a person so I could kick it in the junk. Hard. Hopefully that made you laugh. :) It's true, though.

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  40. I am at a loss for the "right" words...are there "right words"? Loss of life - at any stage of life- is a hard cross to bear. Top it off with cancer, it only amplifies the feelings of grief. Then, add the feeling of "helplessness" to the equation...ugh. I am thinking of you and Allegra and will keep you both in my prayers.

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  41. swopemelmel8:57 PM

    Lori, I believe in God and Heaven with all my heart. Barry has touched the face of God and as been made new again. His spirit is with his beloved Allegra. Carry him with you in your heart. Much love & God bless, Melanie

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  42. I am sorry to hear of such a devastating loss... I will keep you and your dear ones close to my heart and thoughts... prayers of comfort and strength to you and Allegra as she continues her battle while mourning this devastating loss. Much love, and positive healing thoughts to all who knew Barry and peace to Barry who held on so stoically. Love ya darlin' and may you find peace in such a troubled time <3

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  43. Yeesh. What a story - and how very sad. I will think all my best thoughts for both Barry and Allegra and I hope the sorrow she must be feeling is eased somewhat by all the good that people are sending her way. And I am thinking of you too and how hard it must be for you....

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  44. I am sorry to read this sad news.. ..it's so hard to get ones mind around the sudden loss of a friend, yesterday one of our friends passed away unexpectedly and we are shocked and struggling to come to terms with it..prayers to both you and Allegra

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  45. Dear Lori, I can only pray. Because I am surrounded by cancer in my own life, I am reminded that in the end, we all walk that path alone. However, if we are loved by folks like you, we may be alone but not LONELY!

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  46. Hi Lori - I just wanted to say how very sorry I am and that I will include Allegra in my prayers in the coming days and weeks. Lots of love and white light to you too!
    Jenny

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  47. Lori,
    What a beautiful memorial to write for a friend. Your amazing talent with writing and connecting with people touches the hearts of many.
    Hugs to you. Laura

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  48. Oh Lori. Love and light to you and Allegra. Bad things happen to good people and that is something I struggle with every day.....it sounds like Barry knew he was very loved. Hugs to you my friend. x x x

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  49. Best wishes to Allegra and you, I share your pain. We just had a memorial service today for a man that I've known ever since we were very young kids. There were 12 of the kids, and he was the 6th one to pass. All of the others made it there for the service, but his youngest sister is dying from cancer too. She has been put in Hospice and has 6 months or less.

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  50. Oh Lori, I am so deeply sorry for your loss and hope that Allegra and Barry know how many lives they've enriched; and may Allegra find comfort in your love for her. Love and prayers to you, Allegra and all their family/friends. There's been so much loss this year and we all hold you close in our hearts. **big hugs**

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  51. I'm so sorry for you loss. Cancer has taken way too many far too soon. Surrounding Allegra and her family and friends with prayers and love.

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  52. Anonymous11:08 AM

    Terribly sorry about your loss. Please pass something to Allegra. The priest to a dear friend of mine (died of pancreatic cancer) said Vic was lucky. A person dies of a heart attack has no time. A person going from cancer has time to make amends and talk to G-D and see long forgotten friends and be with family.

    From a cancer survivor.

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  53. So sorry for this loss, Lori. You've used words to create a beautiful tribute to your friends.

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  54. Thinking that death really isn't loss, and continuing a relationship with my daughter in a culture that sees death as terrible loss, and our sadness equal to how much we have loved someone in physical life, has been challenging. I'm either very wise or a little nutty, but I think she is still very much with me.

    Your lovely tribute appeared for me at just the right time, and helped me remember this. Your words are uplifting, and I like the tequila story!! :)

    Death makes me want to understand my big question: why?

    I've heard that death is never a mistake, and no matter what, is always handled by infinite intelligence, Source, God. And that there are basically 3 ways we experience death: 1) a person has grown and expanded the universe in all ways they can, and full of positive energy, where emotionally there is no difference between their physical self and their nonphysical self, they return to pure positive energy and broader perspective (nonphysical) because it is the next logical step 2) a person is so far from Source, so pinched off from all they are, perhaps suffering, that returning to pure positive energy is an answer to a prayer, and the way to give that person relief, and brings them back to their inherent being-ness of wellness, joy, and love 3)a person leaves slowly so as not to upset everyone; this could be illness or a disease. Very loving persons may hang on and go slowly. Pets often do this.

    If we are infinite, perhaps we haven't gone away either. My family has had so many incredible experiences since my daughter passed on: things beyond explanation that give us thrill bumps, make us feel awe, provide reassurance, and just feel nice, and good, so I am open and wonder ....

    Thank you for sharing your great love for your fantastic friends, soul-mates :)

    Rita

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