Who will watch my six now…?

I cannot be quiet and still until I have shared that this world lost two good men this week. Monday, I received word that my brother had died. He was one of my best friends, a man who guarded my six (my back, for those not in the military) from the time I was actually six years old.

That was Monday, September 1, and Bill Hamilton, another good man, stood watch, a la Facebook messaging, with me as I waited to hear details, even as Bill was struggling to breathe and would enter Hospice that very night. Bill and I talked in the wee hours of Tuesday-Wednesday – he was awake and for the first time, we spoke by phone. And then, I got word Bill passed away peacefully that very Wednesday, September 3. Two very good men in under 48 hours. I loved both these men and will do posts to honor both soon.

For my brother, Sean, I have had the duty to call and tell his sons, his family, and dozens of his close long time friends of his passing. This has been the hardest of tasks and many times, one of great joy in the stories they shared with me of my brother. But it is a very hard duty to do and it took days – the calls would last between 10 minutes to two hours and most of them the latter. In the midst of this, I hear of Bill’s passing and my heart cried out, “No! Too soon! Not two of them! No!”

Still, it is true. I have had to wait until I could reach as many of Sean’s people and friends as I could before posting so that they did not read of his passing, but heard from someone who loved him dearly and could be there to listen to their outraged grief. It is now my turn to have the luxury of grieving for my brother, Sean, and for my friend, Bill Hamilton.

37 thoughts on “Who will watch my six now…?

  1. Huntie, I am so sorry for your loss of your brother & a truly dear friend Bill. I’m glad you got to talk to him by phone & he was able to offer you some support while you were dealing with your brother’s death.
    My eyes are swollen & red from all the crying I have done over the past 2 days over the loss of Bill, as I am sure yours are too. I hope you know you can contact me if you need someone to talk to now Bill has left us. I know you have a support network & I won’t be offended if you don’t reach out to me, but I just want you to know I am here as a fellow COPD sufferer who loved Bill too. Even though he was only a few years older than me, he felt like a father to me in the way he answered my questions & coached me on how to live in a positive way with COPD.
    I hope you were able to see the post done by Allison, Bill’s daughter. If not, here is the link: http://dealingwithcopd.wordpress.com/2014/09/04/retirement/

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    • Thank you, Benze, for your offer to share comfort with me and for the link to Bill’s daughter’s post. I’ve been out of the loop for days taking care of family affairs and have not kept up. I will follow the link this weekend. Best ~ Huntie

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  2. I am sorry for the loss of your brother Sean. I did not know him yet because he is a part of you, I feel your loss.
    Bill Hamilton was a sweet, gentle soul I met through you. Even his written posts reflected his kindness and softness of voice. That’s how his posts sounded to me when I read them.
    Two wonderful men and the world is at a loss because of their departure. ❤ ❤ ❤

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  3. dear heart Huntie, there is no doubt your six is being guarded from heaven. Bill was just a sweetheart and so very brave! He was a rare man. and your brother Sean, who loved you and his family and sons so very much. Sometimes it just seems too much to bear when such losses come so close to each other. You’ve done the calling and other such things, it is time now to take care of you. Let others do some of the work and shoulder some of the burden. You have done the hardest and most hearbreaking of jobs. Now, you need to just take care of you. Let your friends and family hold you close. I wish I could give you a huge hug and put your head on my shoulder while I pat your baby head. It’s hard. You’ve come through in an amazing way. Now rest dear heart.

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    • Oh, Kanzen, how did you guess that when I awoke this morning with tears burning behind my eyes, I just wanted to crawl on someone’s lap and put my head on their shoulder and rest… xxoo Huntie

      P.S. Please will you put Sean’s name back in the title of your haiku as you had originally honored us? I was in such a race against time I feared word would reach others before I could be there for them. You did us such honor, Kanzen. Thank you from my heart.

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    • Yes, indeed I do, EG – both of these men left their mark in others’ hearts. My brother’s best investment was in his friends. Thank you for your thoughts and letting me know them. Best ~ Huntie

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  4. Such loss defies words. Instead, I offer a wee dragon hug and a deeply felt prayer for the souls of those dearly departed and for the families, your peace, and well being.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Diane, welcome and thank you for taking the time to leave me a message. Even in the sadness, the memories bring more laughter and gratitude that I got to know both of these men. I am a wealthy woman.

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  5. You are the strength that will be the anchor in this storm. God’s using your love to keep friends and family grounded. What an amazing soul you have. Precious one, you live and keep others afloat. What a gift you are.

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  6. Your week and required tasks at hand whilst putting everyone before yourself is nothing less than amazing. I have no clever words or phrases to even comfort you as I am rendered speechless. Your heart is so loving, yet the grief must be overwhelming.

    In the absence of my own words, may I share those of a most prolific author and inspiration to human kind:

    “When it seems that our sorrow is too great to be borne, let us think of the great family of the heavy- hearted into which our grief has given us entrance and inevitably, we will feel about us their arms, their sympathy and their understanding.” -(Helen Keller)

    You do have my number, please feel free to call anytime.

    Much love to you.

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  7. Huntie – What a week it was. I dare ask, how much pain can one soul survive. I always refuse to ask myself that question for fear God will send me a ten times fold and I’ll be buried 10 feet under.
    Bill told me often that he would never have gotten his blog up and running if it hadn’t been for you. He told me that over and over and oh what respect and admiration plus deep, deep love he had for you. He called the Monday before his death. I think we connected due to us both being prior Feds and being just plain curious. If it hadn’t been for you encouraging him on with his blog, I would never have met such a loving and positive individual.
    I’m up for throwing mud pies if you’d like to play. Love you, Sheri

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    • Sheri, that old saying, “If it doesn’t kill you, it will make you stronger,” always has me asking back, “Stronger for what?” And, like you, I don’t want that answer coming back – soft smile.

      For our dear friend, Bill, you do me great honor – in fact, Bill found me here sometime around Nov or Dec of last year. What a man! He made a pledge to read every post I’d written since I began this blog, and he did – commenting on all of them! Again, what a dear man. Always there for anyone, and for me, especially. We had the COPD in common, of course, but we had much the same views of life, purpose, and values, which helped to cement our friendship into a solid rock to lean on and share with one another.

      I am so glad to hear you and he talked Monday ~ maybe by email, you can share some of that conversation with me.

      As to the mud pies, you bet – I am in. Plus, I will bring crockery – boxes of it, to throw and smash with abandon and give release to these wild emotions that come when someone loved leaves us.

      Love Huntie

      Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Joanne, you’re right it has been difficult. I keep listening for the phone to ring and for it to be my brother – we spoke 3-5 times a week. Then I find I’m looking for Bill Hamilton’s comments on the site…. sigh – I miss them. They were good men. May they both rest in peace. xxoo Huntie

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