Gone but not forgotten

One of my favorite shows growing up was Jim Henson’s Fraggle Rock, and one of my favorite episodes in the series was an episode entitled Gone but Not Forgotten. In the episode, one of the Fraggles named Wembley meets a character named Mudwell, a Mudbunny. Mudbunnies are a solitary species which spend their entire lives preparing for their eventual end. They know their time has come when the mud is ready.

Being a Fraggle, a creature which lives entirely in the moment and the complete opposite of a Mudbunny, Wembley has a hard time at first accepting the reason why his new-found friend won’t join the other Fraggles and their fun community forever. Mudwell sings about the water cycle.

“One day it’s an ocean.
One day ice in motion.
One day it’s a tear drop in your eye.”

As he continues, it is clear he is singing about a completely different cycle –

“You’ve got to leave to stay.
We’ll meet again someday,
Just a dream away.”

It is a beautiful, moving episode about handling grief, how painful and awkward it is, and yet it is also an episode about connection, the cycle of life, and rebirth. Mudwell’s song stayed with me throughout the years and has only grown more poignant as I’ve gotten older.  I am especially reminded of it on weeks like this.

Our friend, Ashley passed away this week. Ashley was funny, caring, and nice, but never obnoxiously so. She enjoyed helping others and spending time with her family. In my mind’s eye, I still see her joining the group after a mud run, ridiculously filthy from head to toe, but always with a smile on her face and always looking like the definition of health.

I am conflicted.

I am angry. Cancer takes so many and took her too young. I am sick to my stomach thinking about those left behind. I am sad. I didn’t get to know her long enough. But I suspect if I asked her family, they would say there would never have been enough time. I am happy she is no longer suffering. I am working on accepting. We’ve known this time was coming.

I am grateful.

We are all here for only a moment but live on in the memories of others. Ashley, although we never spoke about it, you’ve inspired me to live each day fully and helped to keep my priorities in order. You had a bigger impact than you’ll ever know. You may be gone, but you are not forgotten. May you live long in memory.

Until we meet again.