Rachel Sandell's Journal
The End and the Beginning
Written Oct 26, 2011 10:36am
For those who don't know, dear sweet Rachel passed on Monday October 16 around 5 in the afternoon. Very easily. We were kinda surprised. She was so tired on that Sunday and kind of dopey. How does someone go from eating some, drinking, going to the bathroom, conversing and then passing on in one day? I guess in the same way a big healthy green tree goes from standing tall one moment and blowing over in the wind the next. And I say, "Way to go Rachel!" Her passing was not like anything I had imagined - none of this is. She was so tired and having a hard time opening her eyes. In the last 15 minutes of her life I asked her, "What's going on Rachel? Are you getting ready to move on? Are you going to be leaving us? Are you dying?" She had trouble getting the words out, so tired, but she said, "I'm fine". She was fine and she is so fine. I left her to sleep and went to sit on the steps and watch Ruby jump on the tramp. It was a blustery day. I know now that I saw her blow away with the pine needles that were on the tramp with Ruby as the mat of needles were going up and down as she jumped. After a bit, she jumped, a wind came and WHOOSH!, some of them flew away. Ruby said, "Cool Mommy! Did you see that?!" "Yea, that was cool! Jump again when a gust comes and do it again!". Never did happen again. Rachel passed within 10 minutes of me being out of the room. So surprising. So amazing. So OK.
Am I so proud of Rachel? Well, that's like saying I'm proud of how the sun sparkles on the lake or proud of how the waves crash into shore...
I am so amazed at how things work out. At how loving people showed up on my doorstep that wild night holding the sacred space for Rachel and me and my family. Perfect timing. Perfect loving. Perfect path.
Whew! I am doing good. We Sandells are doing good. I feel far more gratitude than sadness. So much love and support surrounding us. It is so, so good.
Thanks to all who travel with us on this path. I will share more agian, I'm sure.
A Funeral? HELL NO!! Not for Rachel - she'd be pissed! A Celebration of Life will be this Saturday, October 29 4-7 at Duluth East High School on Superior Street and 40th avenue East - we dreamed up a lovely program in her honor and we will visit, cry, laugh and eat. There is stuff on the love is on facebook page for anyone who wants to look there too.
Love to you all
Written Oct 6, 2011 4:42pmHi there, same old rachel here!
You guys are probably curious how ive been feeling. Well its not a whole lot different than probably the last thing you heard from me or my mom. I am weak, in the legs especially, and im slowish on stairs. But please note that i said stairs, so yeah i take the stairs and all that good stuff. I still have fluid in my stomach of course, but my momler does excellently keeping that drained and under control. Recently, my legs were getting some serious swelling though and that was pretty annoying. And my heels seem to have developed some painful cracking but weve found our ways around that. And i got some cute white knee high stockings for my legs, and they actually have helped a lot! Which is sweet.
Ive been getting out and doing stuff just as much too. Still going to my old yearbook class at school to hang out for awhile most days. I love getting out to see my friends when theyre not in school. Going out to eat, staying in for movies, just whatever. I actually feel pretty busy, like theres too many people who want to see me right this second... But theres no need to rush it people. Plans shall be made. And of course, im spending time here with my mom while the girls are in school and then time with the whole family when we're all home. Fall is so lovely this year. The weathers been so nice and the lakes been so sparkly. I like when im in a car going someplace and noticing those really brilliant trees that stand out so nicely. Sweet. So i also have tired days too, where naps come easily. Also probably having to do with the fact that i just cant seem to sleep that well at night these days? Its unexplained, i havent come up with a good reason why this happens. Im always comfy calm and real tired when i go to bed... And no magic solution yet. But i do eat a lot more in the middle of the night now!
Speaking of food, i love food. Food food food. Fun fact on my fave duluth restaurants: hanabi, duluth grill, the brewhouse, new london cafe, va bene, sammys, pizza luce, zeitgeist, taste of saigon... Im probably forgetting like six that i like too but anyways. I like food. But especially eating it with people i love.
Speaking of love, i wholeheartedly agree with the amazing things my mom had to say in her last two posts. And you people need not be concerned about my mental and emotional well being. Trust me. I feel totally accepting of all of this. Like really. What happens, happens, and it will when it will. I am living this beautiful life until im not anymore, just like all of us.
So on that note, im looking forward to the weekend to see one best friends home from college, and to get out to beautiful bayfield with another friend for apple festival! I hope all of you are enjoying whatever you are up to. I love all of you. Thanks for all the support and everything people have done for us/brought us. Amazing.
Written Sep 27, 2011 8:30amI love Duluth! It is great to be home together again, hopefull not to split up again. Rachel and I high fived when we were leaving the cancer treatment center in celebration of hopefully not having to go to a place like that again, but free to be home in comfort. Rachel is pretty tired and quiet. Maybe she will rebound some after being home a few days, but I don't know. Our house is open to anyone that would like to stop by and visit Rachel, say Hi. Give a call or just swing in. She may be napping or not home. I know she would like to see her people and doesn't have alot of energy to get out and about right now. I also want everyone to know that I am open to people's sadness. Joy is so easy to share with one another but sadness comes from the same loving place and love is all good. I asked Ruby last night how her heart was feeling. She said sad. And scared. Scared of how much she will miss Rachel. I said yes, you are scared because you love her so much. It's just love. I said but you don't have to miss her now because she's here, right in the next room and you can go and say hi and give her another kiss goodnight. In a moment of courage the other day I told my dear friend that it will all be Ok. She said Yes, and I would underline the word ALL. I know the way is Openness and Acceptance of what is. Not wishing for more or different. Right now it is enough. It is what it is. Love to you all.