How do you say goodbye to someone who has touched your heart in some way? Sadly for many people of this world, and for our readers who enjoy hearing about those that have shared their story, it’s time to say goodbye to one of our beloved story tellers, Leonie.
Leonie’s story received so much positive feedback, that it was quite overwhelming. She was (and will always be), such a beautiful lady and such a colourful character. I was blessed to be in her presence to hear her story, and fortunate enough that I heard stories about her and her progress regularly from those that cared about her and looked after her when she needed people there.
On Tuesday morning, 16th March, 2016, I received a text saying that Leonie had gone to be with sweet Jesus at 2am. While this was not unexpected (as many of you will remember that Leonie was in palliative care at the time she told her story), it was still extremely sad.
How Do You Say Goodbye?
Whether you are saying goodbye to someone you love, someone you have met briefly, someone who has touched your life through their story or someone who has been a big part of your life in some way, it’s not easy. There are stories of people who have had near death experiences (NDE) and how they ‘died’ and then came back to talk about what happened. A lot of recounts (including my own mother’s) tell that ‘there was no pain’.
People very often say that once someone has died after an illness, that it’s good that they are no longer in pain. I for one am a big believer of this. I have to be. I want to believe that my mother is somewhere in heaven feeling young and free, and out of the terrible state of pain that was so much a part of her life – especially at the end. I want to believe that Leonie (who you would remember as a super, duper strong Christian), is up in heaven, happily chatting away to Jesus, free of pain and getting her instructions on how she is now going to look after all those children up there who need her guidance.
You see, when we say goodbye to someone who has left this Earth, there has to be a ‘better place’ that they have gone to, otherwise how could we go on living ourselves?
Everyone says goodbye in their own way. Everyone has their own beliefs of what happens to someone once they pass away. There is no right or wrong answer when you ask the question, “How do you say goodbye?” You just need to know that when you say goodbye, that person is in a happy place, without pain and still smiling down on you every single day that you are thinking about them and missing them.
Live Life Like Leonie
Leonie had a whole lot of stories, sayings and quotes that she used to write down in her diary. But the quote I love best from her is, “YOU DON’T LET LIFE OVERCOME YOU, YOU OVERCOME LIFE!”
Leonie was such an inspiration to so many people and she shaped so many little lives as a teacher, that her passing will be a day of sadness for many when they hear about it. When someone passes away, regardless of your own beliefs and thoughts on dying, it makes you think about your own mortality and the fact that anyone can go at any time.
When it’s time for people to say goodbye to you, how will they remember the way you lived life? Everyone has struggles. Everyone has victories. Everyone has a story and I for one would love to be remembered as being the person who lived life just like Leonie did.
Rest in peace, Leonie. You are an amazing inspiration and I know that somewhere up there you are being as cheeky, loveable and the same cute and colourful character that you were down here.