On Friday, I received an email from a colleague that a good friend of ours passed away. Claire Burke had lung cancer for a number of years and fought the hard fight against this deadly disease. Over the years, we talked about cancer frequently as it was something we both had in common. Claire was treated at the University of Pennsylvania. She trusted her team and was a trooper in trying new therapies in an attempt to contain the cancer.
Claire fought hard because she wanted to live. She loved life. She had two teenage children who she desperately wanted to see grow up. Over the years, I watched Clay and Lily grow up. When talking to Claire, she would tell me how they were doing and how proud she was of them. She and her husband Steve, were soulmates. She knew her cancer was hard on her family and was really sorry for this.
I worked with Claire at Dorland Health in Philadelphia. She was the graphic designer for Case In Point Magazine. She took great care in designing each issue. It was always exciting to see what she came up with. She was ‘a behind’ the scenes type of person, but her work was front and center. I placed a few of my favorite covers from Case In Point that Claire designed in the cover photo, maybe you will remember a few of them?
After we both left the company, we stayed in contact, talking every few months to catch up on friends we had in common. Claire was someone who I would call up and spend an hour remembering things that happened when we worked together. We would laugh and remember the good times. I always left feeling good.
I had thought about Claire over the past few weeks, but time passed, and I did not call her. Then I got the email from Harry that Claire passed away. I feel bad, and wished I had picked up the phone.
Claire was a beautiful person, and I am so glad that our paths crossed and I became her friend.
My closing thought to all reading this post is when you think about someone, pick up the phone and call them. Don’t put it off. We never know when our lives or our family members or friends will change or end. So make that call, say hello…..and let the person know that you were thinking of them!
Thanks for reading!
What a touching message. Anne, you continue to inspire! Thanks for posting this sage advice.
Sorry for the loss of your dear friend.
As I am now dealing with my husband being treated for CA, his ups and downs,
I do not know what I will do when he passes; especially if it is sooner rather than later.
We will be married for 62 years in November, as he says “if we make it”.
Although having been a case manager since 1984, it is not the same trying to be the BEST case manager for a loved one, especially as ortho and catastrophic claimants are my forte; not CA. I definitely let the oncologist and specialists take the leads, although I do ask questions of the specialists my husband thinks are not necessary. However, the specialists feel they are appropriate and definitely in the best interest of my husband.
Being a case manager for so many years, I continue to think out side of the box.
Covid has brought us all so much more together; yet keeping our distance.
Thank you Barbara. You are and have been an advocate for your husband. Cherish every day you have together…celebrate that anniversary!
Give him a kiss for all of us!
Anne So sorry for this loss. Thank you for sharing this story and reminder that life is not forever.
Anne, So sorry to hear of the loss of your friend. What a nice tribute. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and memories with us. Because, when someone you love becomes a memory, their memory becomes a treasure. May she be in your heart and mind forever. Wishing you strength for today and hope for tomorrow. My deepest condolences.
This is such a loving tribute. Thank you for sharing this.
Wonderful article, Ann! It’s always good to be reminded to feel gratitude and be “in the moment” living every day like there is no tomorrow because we never know… Thank you for that gentle reminder!!