So Long Mimi

My friend Mimi died, passed away peacefully in her sleep.

Though well into her 80s, it’s not a comfort when someone says, she lived a good life. Maybe so, but my sadness still surrounds me like a scrim I can’t quite see through.

She was my neighbor across the hall who, when I first moved in, was the only one who bothered getting to know me.

We became friends in a New York minute, as the saying goes, weaving into one another’s lives despite our age difference.

Then two years ago she was convinced by her nephew, it would be better to move into an assisted living home in Washington D.C. saying she was headed towards early dementia. Let me say, she was sharper than a tack, and early dementia in your 80s is kind of funny when you think about it.

The news devastated Mimi since she lived here for over 50 years, but her family frightened her saying, it was best done now, while she still had her marbles…quote, unquote.

There were other options, yet uprooting her was what was done and if there was ever a time I regret not speaking up, it’s now.

I said nothing as I watched her struggle not wanting to go, but also being stoic, not wishing to burden.

She had money, friends, me across the hall, an extra bedroom for someone to come live even part-time, but kept silent painfully selling her things, giving much away since her new home, though grand, was much smaller.

She called me every day at first, saying she was coming back, she’d try it for two months but knew already she was coming home.

It never occurred to me her family would never allow this though they pretended otherwise, but when they wouldn’t even let her come to visit, then I knew.

I’m weeping, selfishly perhaps even writing about it, but writing is the only way I know how to deal with feelings, dispersing them onto the page.

Loss is such a part of life, yet it never feels natural, doesn’t matter how many times it happens. It’s heartbreaking to know I’ll never hear that vibrant voice again say,

Susannah, it’s Mimi…are you eating?

I’d often find a casserole dish in front of my door. I knew she didn’t cook, like me, the two queens of take-out, but figured, by transferring whatever into her earthenware I’d have to return, there was a better chance of me eating it.

The last thing she said to me was, why doesn’t God just take me? A question she’d ask often.

And I’d say, because your room isn’t ready yet Mimi, that’s why, always hanging up on a laugh.

Well, alas, her room is ready now.

Farewell my friend and at some point, we shall meet again, and just so you know,

I’m eating.

Your friend,


About Susannah Bianchi

I'm just a girl who likes to write slightly on slant. I've had a career in fashion, dabbled in film and to be honest, I don't like talking about myself. Now my posts are another matter so I will let them speak for themselves. My eBooks, A New York Diary, Model Behavior: Friends For Life and Notes From A Working Cat can be found on Thanks.
This entry was posted in Faith, friendship, grace, Gratitude, humanity, humor, Love, money, New York City, writing and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

39 Responses to So Long Mimi

  1. I am so sorry about your loss Susannah. May Mimi be in light and peace. Sending you prayers and blessings.


  2. When I saw the subject in my email notification I had a sense of sadness. You brought her to life for many of us. Family does what they think is best but often forget that ripping an older person out without their roots is a slow demise. Let’s hope that in her last years she found friends like you.


    • I am truly sad. I wish I had gone to see her. As much as I cheered her in the beginning I think when she realized she wouldn’t return, I then made her sad. She was so funny and wonderful, independent and adventurous and they mistakenly clipped her wings.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Steve says:

    I am also so sorry about your loss Susannah.


  4. gmg says:

    So, so sorry for your loss, Susannah. Our society is not very nice to the elderly. A sad commentary since hopefully, we will all get to that point. xoxo


  5. What a beautiful tribute, Susannah. Makes me wish I knew her too. Thank you for sharing this.


    • I remember my earlier essays about her, how funny they were. She made me laugh so. I remember when I gave us both mud facials that promised to make us look younger, and she was worried her friends from church might not recognize her. So sweet she was.


  6. Tony Burgess says:

    I adore older people starting from when I was a kid. Anytime someone I considered a mentor and a elder passes its very sad because they were a friend who cared about me. I understand where you are coming from. Sorry for your loss.


  7. Eilene Lyon says:

    That’s a very sad story and I appreciate you sharing it. Maybe people will wake up to the fact that not all people need to be sent to a “home” at the end of life.


  8. Sadly, I’m sitting here trying to absorb the sad news. I’ve followed the Mimi saga and feel connected to the irony’s her of life. I’m older (70) and want to have one thing only as I age and that is choice. Stubbornly and without apologies, hubby and I hope we can do what each of us wishes without interference of the ungrateful wicked kids. We all have evil around us. Mimi may not have been where she wanted to be but I’m sure she gave them ‘What for!!!! My deepest condolences for your sorrow. May she Rest In Peace.


    • I appreciate you remember the Mimi stories. I feel as if I’ve lost her twice, once when she moved and now, for good. It scares me to think someone like her so vital, such a force had no say at the end. I watched silently like a cat as they ambushed her so completely. I did reprimand the twat, forgive my crude parlance but it’s apt, who came from Doyle to appraise some of Mimi’s furniture for auction. Mimi was so shaken and she so cold I let her have it. Mimi loved her things so. Thanks for listening Isadora. As you can see I’m still upset. Sigh

      Liked by 1 person

  9. E says:

    Ugh. The bittersweetness. “Susannah, it’s Mimi…are you eating?
    I’d often find a casserole dish in front of my door.” Rest In Peace Mimi and thank god for earth angels. Big cyber hugs from me.


  10. I felt as if I knew Mimi through your posts, and I too am sad for your loss. Mimi was a gem that passed through your life, and the lives of your readers. Sending you light and love for peace during this difficult time ❤


  11. skinnyuz2b says:

    I’m so sorry for the loss of your friend, Susannah. And so sorry that her f’n relatives took much of the joy out of her last years. Please take some comfort in knowing that your friendship brought added sunshine into her life.


  12. Elle Knowles says:

    I’m so sorry Susannah. I know her friendship meant a lot to you. ~Elle


  13. Sorry for your loss. For what it’s worth, it doesn’t sound like your speaking up would have changed her family’s actions. Let go the regret and cherish the memory of your wonderful friendship.


    • A practical suggestion. I remember they weren’t too pleased to make my acquaintance, something I kept from Mimi. I think they were worried she’d give me something valuable. Let me say, they rifled through her things, her silver and China like pirates. The truth was, I wouldn’t tale anything like that though it was offered because frankly I just wanted to help her…no fee required. She gave me all her birds since we both were bird lovers, that had sentiment but no monetary value. I’m carrying on. Sorry.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. My mother is 83, 1/2 way to 84, and I cannot see putting her in assisted living. Though I guess things could changed and she become unmanageable, it just doesn’t sound right to me. My problem, I suppose, is that I don’t know that I could have her live with me. However, I am becoming flexible on that. Her thing is she is independent enough that, for now, we don’t need to worry about it much.


  15. How very, very sad. I’m grieving with you.


  16. Patricia says:

    I know your heart hurts. I’m sorry.


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