Monday, July 25, 2016

For Those of Us Left Behind

Georgia and I at the horse pasture a few weeks before she passed.

My friend Georgia Zurilgen Williams passed away peacefully last night. She was 62 years old. She had been living with a glioma brain tumor for nearly three years and had endured chemotherapy and surgery more times than I can recall. For most of those years she was upbeat and optimistic. She was hoping she'd beat it. It's true that some people can live for years with a tumor but it has to be very special circumstances. I have even heard of 25 years. Near the end she was not happy. As a matter of fact, she was miserable. The tumor took her ability to speak correctly and to reason and she knew it. There's no blanket way to deal with these things. It's all personal and if such a thing befalls us we each have to take our individual situation and decide what to do. There's no cookie cutter approach.

Georgia took her way and I was in awe of her bravery. I forgive her the confusion and anger she experienced near the end.

Our Friendship

I knew her for 30 years. We were partners in horses for that whole time. First, we had Magic, an appaloosa gelding, and Majestic, a paint mare. Then we had Dusty, another appaloosa gelding, and at the same time there was Baush and Spice. Seems like there was one more but I can't remember its name because I had moved out of the Bay Area by that time. Of course, before I met Georgia she had a slew of other horses because her history in horses started when she was a girl.

I remember once we went to a John Lyons clinic in Davis, CA. We slept in the back of her pick up in the clinic parking lot because we were both too broke to afford a room. It was better that way anyway. We could get up and be the first ones in the bleachers. We could wander around the grounds and commune with the animals.

There are so many things I remember about her. You know how a lot of times when you eulogize a person that in the back of your mind as you're saying all the nice things you're also thinking I wish I could say the whole truth of my experience with this person? Like he sure was a bastard in many ways and cruel and selfish? I wanted to say this about my dad. But I didn't. There's no point.

Well, in Georgia's case I can honestly say there was not a mean bone in her body. I can eulogize her with confidence about her sweet nature. She was an exemplary person who always looked for how it might feel to walk a mile in another one's shoes. She was kind. She was thoughtful. She had demons like we all do and she battled them and it made her a compassionate person. She lived that compassion in her daily life.

Of course, I'm going to miss her. Like I miss my dad's wife Teresa. Also taken before old age. Also taken while still young and vital. They're both gone on ahead to the ultimate adventure. They've both travelled up the road ahead of the rest of us and have left us behind. We'll follow them on that same path soon enough. May life set lightly upon you and give you have peace.


  1. I feel for your loss, Renée. Cherish the memories you have...

    1. Thanks and I certainly will! I can think of so many.

  2. It's hard to lose people. Memories do bring some comfort as I am still in grieving for my husband. Blessings and wonderful memories be with you. Suz

  3. I am so sorry for your loss. I too have lost a very special friend, many years past now. I still miss her.

    1. Thanks Jules. It helps a lot to have this support.