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19 February 2010

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Karen

Beautiful post, once again. May your friend find peace in this quiet reprieve you are giving her.

The act of carrying on is different for each of us, and sometimes for a while it seems to be just that..an act. One foot in front of the other.

Julie

So beautifully written Corey. I think the most important thing you can do for someone who has suffered such loss is the constant physical presence of someone close [when wanted]. It is like an anchor to hold on to and feel safe. I lost my mum when I was 13.. the worst thing was waking every morning thinking it was bad dream. I think you must be a wonderful friend.. with great empathy.

Betty M

Corey you are the best of friends. So caring and understanding and always there when needed. My heartfelt sympathies go out to your friend.

Cindy

Time, time. As everyone tells us, time. And at the most unexpected moments a wave of grief surrounds me and is gone as quickly. Moments that make it real. Time.

pauline

You are giving your friend what she needs most - a safe place to be, a sympathetic ear and a shoulder to cry on.

What gets me through the grief? Knowing that things will change, that the pain will lessen, that despite pain and loss, the world is still a beautiful place. My Memere instructed me to make one beautiful memory every day. It's a good practice, even in the midst of sadness.

Jeanette Mc.

How lucky you are to be there together. Corey, the way you express yourself is very beautiful. It truly touches the soul. I will pray for Ladelle. I will not even allow myself the thought of that loss. Warm wishes for continued healing.

Leslie

11 years next month and I still miss my father so much...tears are running down my cheeks as I write this...sometimes my emotion feels so raw, so much more we could of shared together..I still remember his last words to me on that day..........I will never forget.

le petit cabinet de curiosites

As always beautiful words and you are a fantastic friend. I guess we all lost someone we loved. We have all different ways to carry on.
Moi, I remember all the good times I had with the one I loved and I still one. For me they are by my side , even if we not grab them anymore , if we not kiss them anymore, they are still in my heart

Elizabeth Harper

I am so sorry for your friend Ladelle's loss. I don't even want to think about the grief involved in the death of a spouse or partner. It's too close to my own fears.

Coincidentally, I wrote this morning about how overwhelmed I feel watching and waiting as a friend of mine inches closer to her end of life.

Lisa

So beautiful and so true. I am new to this kind of grief. My mother died on Christmas Day 2009, I spent the past couple of years helping my father take care of her and now have no idea what to do. I feel a bit lost sometimes....it sounds silly but at 41 sometimes you still want your Mommy. I miss her terribly she was my dearest friend, but slowly I am coming back to my husband and children and father that now needs us all more than ever. It is a day to day process.....

Twinkleberry

I lost my father, when I was a young child and it has affected my every moment

Lee

Oh Corey, this is so beautifully written. What a lucky friend Ladelle has. Grief is so individual, and yet, universal. I still miss my granparents. I miss my uncle terribly, my godfather, who has been gone just a year. I cannot bear to delete his blog from my favorites. I have his picture on my blog, and it makes me teary every time I see it. I know he understood the artists in me, and that's priceless. I think what keeps us all going is the love that carries on. Love, plain and simple.

Jackie

Corey, You are doing all that can be done. Many people would shy away from the raw pain that you are immersing yourself in. Death is part of life, a sad part, but part just the same. I try to remember what Tasha Tudor said when asked (at age 90 something) if she was afraid to die, "Oh no, she replied, I think it will be the next great adventure!" Her reply made me re-think death.
Jackie
Bliss farm Antiques

Rhonda P

Oui, I lost a boyfriend tragically. I would fight back the tears every day at work. Not knowing anyone at my job, helped. No one knew what to say to me. Saying nothing was the best. I would leave my office every day, get to the first stop sign and start crying, I would cry all the way home. I felt stronger every day and being new to the city I live in, few friends were there to help but the one's who did, remain close to my heart! Some barely knew me and that says it all right there. Angels on Earth.

This post is beautifully written, as I know you've experienced loss, as well.

gail

You are such a special angel. Bless you for being there for your friend. And bless you for being there for us. When I signon to the computer in the morning, your blog is the very first thing I read. I can't start my day without you Corey! You are a ray of sunshine and we are all blessed to have you sharing your life with us. Thank you.

Niki

My mother died Jan. 10 and my father-in-law died two weeks later. It has been a difficult time. I was with my mother when she died. That was a special time. She was there for my first breath and I was there for her last. I don't know how people survive without a strong faith. I know where my mother is and that I will be reunited with her someday.

Fran

I remember learning in college that a western Indian tribe did not see some shades of color because they did not have a word for it and could not name it. I didn't have a word for a life without my mother. How beautifully you described the grief which no one tells you about. We learn to live with the new normal and it becomes routine after a while, but the space the loved one leaves is never filled. How important our faith is at this time and how we are given grace to comfort others as we have been comforted. Corey, as much as I love the decorative elements of your daily story, I appreciate the deep foundation of faith. God's grace to you and your friend.

annie

It is so good you are there WITH her.
Through her faith, she knows she is not alone, but in your presence she physically feels it as well.
Tears and laughter---they go together...
annie

Allison

Beautiful, Corey.
I watched my best friend take some of her last breaths as her fight against Cystic Fibrosis ended. She was 22 years, 2 months, and 22 days old. And her favorite game was Yahtzee. I grieved while she was still alive. One of the ways I grieved after her death was by taking photos of the flowers that had been at her funeral. I pulled apart the bouquets and took pictures of individual flowers or groupings, all symbolic. It was in her life and death that I saw in a very realistic way the verse that says, "Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?" - 1 Corinthians 15:55. I love this verse because it mocks death! And my friend Lindsay mocked death in her life and death. She knew her Savior, knew He had defeated death itself, and was excited to be with Him. She understood where she was headed. It's much easier to carry on knowing she knew this. I look forward to the day when we will be reunited!

Michelle

Hope, the hope that I will see all of them again.

Patti

Grief is a process with its own stages and we all must go through these difficult stages. I would tell myself it's ok for me to feel this way right now. I won't feel this way forever. For me, the only thing that has made my loss somewhat easier is the passage of time.

liz

I was a fulltime caregiver to my husband, too, and was adrift after he died. I survived those first few months by doing what was in front of me, at that moment, whether it was washing dishes, feeding the cats or staring out the window. And I was kind to myself, not hurrying, not trying to fix it. I made no plans, looked for no pieces to pickup and put back together. I was most comforted by the others who also loved him and shared my grief. We were sad together, without words. It was healing.

Jai

Corey,
You capture the feelings of loss so beautifully. This post brought tears to my eyes. I'm glad for your friend that she is with you now. I hope with the passage of time and surrounded by good friends she'll find peace in the memories she has of her husband.

christine

how lucky your friend Ladelle is to have your ear and your heart....i lost my father very suddenly my senior year in college. it took a year to feel like i was back on earth but 27 yrs later i can still burst out crying because i miss him so much.

missy

prayers for Ladelle,you and anyone dealing with grief....part of the overwhelming mystery of life. My husband died June2009...seconds ago at times and an eternity at other times. I know life on earth is a gift and I must honor it no matter the circumstances. And I know there is a happily ever hereafter.......faith will sustain.
missy from the bayou

shelley

Crying in the shower feels best, as does remembering aloud.
We should all have a Sister Miriam....or a Corey.

martina

This past Christmas was very hard for me. For some reason,over 20 years after their deaths, I really missed my Dad and Grandma. Grief never goes away. I remembered nearly fainting while at Dad's Memorial, and my cousin grabbing my arm and pulling me up. He was crying too. Grief is never suffered alone, the people who love you want to help, let them and let all of your emotions out. God bless you Corey and Ladelle.

Star

The loss of each person leaves a unique emptiness and requires its own unique path to healing.

Thank you for sharing your gift with all of us, Corey. You know what to say, how to say it, when not to say anything at all. You are special. Your friend Ladelle with be in my thoughts and prayers.

Karina Westfall

Breathtaking post. I hope your friend can be released of her husband's death. It is hard sometimes, but only time heals. I lost my father ten years ago. My father lived outside of USA and the hardest part for me was that I was not able to attend his funeral either due to visa problems. How I couped with his death? By being surrounded with family and friends. After a decade every time I see his picture or dream about him, tears come out of my eyes. I can't help it.

Marilyn

You are doing it perfectly, sharing the quiet times and allowing time to reminiscence. It is so important to talk about the person and remember. Everyone mourns in different ways. I remember when my mother died, my son wrote her a letter and left it on her grave. That was his way of talking and mourning.

annieelf

First my father. Then my mother. The caring for others helped with my father. It was time and only time that helped me with my mother. I hold Ladelle in my heart as you hold her in your loving embrace and in the heart of your family.

Kel

My grandpa died in 1980 but I still tear up when I think of him or talk about him. I'm crying right now but it's a nice cry. He was such a joyful giving man and died way too young. His nickname was Bubbles and he loved my sister an I very much.

My heart is with Ladelle.

Patricia

My mother died when I was 10 years old. I am now 43 and there is not a day that goes by that I do not think of her. Her death was the most terrible thing that ever happened to me. Although it did make me a stronger person. I know she is with me in spirit. There has been several times I have felt her presence. One time in my life when I was going through a difficult time, I awoke at 3am to a bright light. I thought the microwave might be on? But, it was just very bright and a musical Christmas card on the kitchen table was playing (which had been closed) and playing her favorite Christmas song, "Silient Night". Now is that a sign or what!!!!!???????

jend'isère

Your café photos of empty chairs with warmth of a drink and words provides an empathy, inviting us to share. Ladelle, I wish these readers' comments help with the natural support of Corey.

Julie Ann Evins

I wish I was in that cafe with you dear friend Corey - I miss u - it's true ! I am very glad however that Ladelle has you at this moment. I remember very well sipping cafe allonge (me) & the most delicious chocolat chaud (you) in Aix and talking about the loss of your dad & my mummy and all of what that meant to us. It was a valuable and much delayed moment in my grieving and it takes a true friend and special soul to do that. I miss you Corey. A very dear friend of mine who came through cancer last year, or so it seemed, has been told this week that she has lung cancer. She is in her 70's and not strong after the onslaught of last year. I think she received her new diagnosis the day you posted about your cancer. I will talk to her soon and hopefully visit. In summoning courage for us both and trying to offer some comfort, you will be uppermost in my heart & thoughts. My love, Julie xx

Jenna

Years ago I lost my grandfather. He was on respirators and we knew it would not be much longer. He and I had always had a special relationship. When he passed, I was grief stricken for a long time. Then one day, I was able to look at his picture and laugh at all the good times, enjoy visiting his favorite places, "knowing" that he was somehow there with me. Laugh with my family about his bad jokes and love of strange cardigans.

I didn't do anything special to get over it, but time made it much easier. I wish your friend the very best and hope that she soon remembers all the wonderful things about him that made him so very special.

My deepest condolences, Ladelle.

Susie Capriola

Only time and close family/friends help. It is a process that you must go through. It's like the old song "so high you can't get over it, so low you can't get under it, so wide you can't go around it you must go in through the door". Unfortunately it's a door you never wanted to open in the first place and one you can never really go back out of, the only thing you can do is put distance, through time, between you and the hurt and pain the opening of that door caused. Corey, what a true friend your are to Ladelle. I know she is in all your blog readers hearts and thoughts.

AmyKortuem

You are giving her the best gifts: a soft spot to land and a safe space for her to share and grieve. What a wonderful friend you are.

Brenda L from TN

Dear Corey,
I'm so glad that you can be there for Ladelle. I know she really appreciates your kindness and willingness to listen....

The hardest thing I ever did was being in the room when my dad took his last breath. I had no idea how awful the last breath sounded. It was as if he couldn't let go. I just remember thinking "let go, let go". It went on for what seemed like forever. I never forgot it.

Then when my true ROCK died...my Mother...and they called me from the nursing home about an hour before she died to tell me to come...all I could think about was hearing my dad's last breath and how awful it was. I knew I couldn't bear to hear her go thru that...I couldn't go. Plus it was about 1:00 AM and I could just hear her say..."Don't you dare go out by yourself at that time of night". When I called her brother (my uncle)at daylight to tell him, the first thing he said was..."You didn't go out at that time of night did you? She wouldn't have wanted you to do that." (Germans...they are very practical)

I knew the time was close for her on the Wednesday before she died on Friday. So I told her "good-bye" then. I told her how much I apperciated her lifelong support and ALWAYS being there for me and my two boys. She knew I had an unhappy marriage...just as she did...and she always helped me in so many ways I can't remember them all. She was truly my Rock. I loved her dearly and miss her every day.

My prayers will be for Ladelle and a word of thankfullness for your helping her through this terrible, lonely time.

Thank you.

meredith

I couldn't breathe...I had to focus on making myself breathe.

Paula

Much love to everyone here. The loss of a loved one is like nothing else.

Kathie B.

I'm waiting for spring in the midst of over 2 FEET of snow still on the ground, our snowiest month ever (and it's still only the 19th!). Do I ever miss California!!!

Sherry

This is a very beautiful post. I have lost too many people I love, and your sentiments ring true. You do feel different-more aware of life, in my case-ready to redetermine my life. Your friend is lucky to have you by her side.
Sherry

Sherry

This is a beautiful post. I have lost too many people that I loved, and it does change you-in my case, made me redetermine my own life. It's nice that you are there for your friend. That is so valuable! Thank you for sharing that,
Sherry

Debra

You are such a wonderful woman. You are doing all the right things for your dear friend. God bless you:)
~Debra
Blog: Capers of the vintage vixens

Diane

My sister died in a water skiing accident when she was 35; I was 33 and I had three children three and under. The months after her death are a blur. I was so afraid if I started crying, I would never stop and my children would not be cared for. Because I stuffed my sorrow, it took longer to process, but I did the best I could and I had to trust God with the whole thing. Now I try and give that gift to others...to remind them that their grief will be convoluted, it is not a performance, and God can be trusted. My mother is now ill, and we don't expect her to live another year, so I will try and remind myself of the same thing.
Blessings on your friend, and on you for being such a good friend,
Diane

lee

I lost my sister 2 years ago at the age of 55, I had just been there over christmas on a visist we lived in different places. I had stayed for her birthday when she turned
55 and we enjoyed each others company. Two weeks later she lay dead on her kitchen floor by the phone, she died of a massive heartattack..did i cope well no, two weeks after that my mother had a massive heartattack. So no coping was not on radar, I fall apart I couldnt sleep, couldnt eat, couldnt work, not functioning. I had to go on anti depressants and still have hard time accepting that she is gone. Death you never get over, it is a constant in your life.

Madeleine

The women in my family have lived well into their nineties and it never occurred to me that my mother would be any differen so, when she died suddenly at 82, I was shocked. She loved France and history, in general, and Marie Antoinette, in particular, and immersing myself in those subjects has, strange though it seems even to me, been a huge comfort to me and a way to continue to feel close to my mother. Pursuit of the topic is what led me to your blog, in fact. I so remember how,in the beginning, even though I have six siblings who adore my mother as I do, I didn't have anyone with whom I could just vent and vent to my heart's content. So, know you're providing a great service to your friend by just allowing her to talk about it. All the best to you both...

Tina S

My beautiful 15 year old daughter died suddenly a little over 9 years ago. Breathing was an effort and I didn't want to get out of bed...but my other children needed me. I cried in the shower, in the car, at work, at church...wherever I was, I cried. Sometimes I still do. Her death changed every one of my priorieties in life. And the certainty that I will see her again helps me to continue living.

Karen in Alaska

My brother and I had a pact. Whoever died first would come back and tell the other one if there really was a Heaven. He died at age 22 when I was 20 from a brain tumor. I was holding his hand as he died and even before he took his last breath, I felt his soul take leave of his body. I knew then it was all true that while our body may die, our soul lives on. Knowing he would want me to live a happy life until we are reunited in Heaven, helped me to go on.

leilani

I have lost a child, my Mother, my only beloved brother and my husband--all before I was in my 60's. You carry on because you must. There are others left behind
who not only help you through the grief but who need you to remain whole because you are a vital part of their lives.

Square-Peg Karen

"Sharing grief can help ease the pain, allow us to breath." I think that's the thing that helped me most thru grief - being able to share with people --

as commenter Jackie said above - so many people "shy away from the raw pain", but having others listen - oh, it's the only thing I think 'helps' ( I put 'helps' in quotes, because nothing fixes your grief).

Thank you for sharing from the heart - I'm glad your friend Ladelle has someone like you in her life.

Kristy

When my grandma passed away (and then grampa 9 months later) our family fell apart. I too, thought about how your world can fall apart and yet keep going. It's taken a long time to get over it, yet seems like yesterday. I feel that having fond memories and keeping those memories alive helps with the pain of loss. May you all be comforted by your memories.

Ann

I lost my favorite uncle in 2006 and my father in 2008. Loss of a loved one leaves us changed forever. I read numerous books and articles on losing a loved one, got hospice counseling, and have daily dialogue with God, family and friends. I've learned that everyone grieves differently - nothing can prepare you for the loss and it takes time, patience and faith to get through it.

I still cannot look at pictures of my dad or uncle. It is too painful. A year after dad passed away, my sister gave me a cross that the funeral home gave each kid. Why I got it a year later is unexplained. But somehow I have managed to misplace it somewhere in our home. Things get confused and I space out.

But one day at a time and by the grace of God - that is how I get through it. Over Thanksgiving I took my mother to a healing service where true miracles were happening and she said she prayed to be healed of her sorrow and I believe God answered her prayers. She no longer cries like before and she is trying so hard to keep going and make a life for herself. She just moved into a new condo. Bravo Mom!

All I can say is - God never fails us. Heartfelt sympathy to Ladelle.

kelleyn

So beautifully written. Yes, I have lost several people die, but for some reason I do not find it sad. I can only be happy for them because I know that they are now with a loving Heavenly Father and in a place that is much nicer than we could ever dream of. Maybe, I am weird or something is wrong with me. I do miss these people, but to be sad I cannot be.

Joanie

Lucky Ladelle for having such a good friend to listen to her even in her silence. I wish that I had someone like you when my Dad died...I felt so alone.

I had to travel to my hometown to his funeral. My husband stayed home until the night before the service. My brother was dealing with his grief in his "tough guy" way and I never saw my SIL shed a tear.

I had no one to talk to, no one who seemed to understand how I felt. I got a phone call from my boss who took the time to listen to me and let me share my memories and my tears. God Bless Brad!

There isn't a day that goes by when I don't think of my Dad. Even though the rawness of his death is healed, I don't think I will ever be the same, I carry a sorrow in my heart for him.

God Bless you Corey.

Katiebell

oh corey your a dear friend to help hold and carry your friends story. Love to you my dear

Dear Ladelle,

I lost my love when I was young and we only had 6 1/2 years together, but we helped make our son together. He was my soul mate and when I cried to my friend about how hard it was to loose him so young, she replied "You were lucky, some people never find them at all." everything can be seen from a perspective that makes it a gift.

Our son was only three when my man took his life, and truly our son is the light that keeps my life flame burning strong and bright. but it has been 13 years of grief that never ceases but learns to be your friend. It accompanies your love and joy and gives depth to everything. There is no knowledge like that of the sweet fragility of life and that fact that every breath we take is a wonderous delight. Everyone who we meet, every love we share is everlasting and temporal and that gives it more strength in our life.

I carried on because i had my son, my family and my love for the preciousness of my life itself. I carried on because I had no choice, I am here to live my life. I do not feel like a strong surviver, just a little boat that was carried through a storm and somehow, miraculously stayed afloat.

I survived because I cried, despaired, laughed, remembered; felt. even though the grief it so strong and the loss so puplable, I learn to light the little flame of my life in the hole in my chest where my man had been, where the void was made when he was ripped from me, my soul mate. Over the long years I have let that flame reclaim the darkness and I now feel near complete, a new me that has know the dark and the light.

I am with him everyday and do not have to wait for an after life, his spirit is with me always and surrounds us all in light.

I still cry with the intensity of new loss, but the crying is a singing about the wonderous heights and depths of life. I just cried and sung remembering saying goodbye to him, just coming out of the shower then. And the sound was rich and deep and healing, like the voice of the earth itself.

At first it was 'baby steps' and let it out only a little at a time, then it was learning to live my life again, now it is remembering him and living with my loss and blessings.

It is the light of love that will wrap you in softness when you need it most and guide you through the night. See it in Corey's eyes, in the buds of spring returning, in the children laughing. Feel him in the air around you. You're man is with you always Ladelle, feel that love, that echos through all time.

You will smile and laugh and love again.

With love and light and hope for your journey

Katiebell xxxoooxxx

Suzanne

Corey, what a wonderful friend you are! I know the support and care you are giving Ladelle will help her greatly. I, too, have lost several close to me and some things that helped me during those desperate and sad hours, was thinking of the happy times I had with them. While I had trouble with being happy, when I thought about all our funny and hilarious times, it did help with some of the pain. As I'm sure you know and feel, those passed on will remain with us forever. Time has an
amazing way of easing this pain. Hugs to you and Ladelle!

BC

I lost a dear friend six years ago. He had sickle cell anemia. I was with him everytime he was in the hospital, holding his hand. No matter where I was, I made sure I was there. I knew that the disease would take him from me and promised that I would be by his side when that did happen. I didn't want him to die alone. Unfortunately, I wasn't and no one else was by his side. I was six hours away in grad school. I didn't get to say goodbye and that hurt even more. You are right, a part of you does die when you lose someone you love.

momof5

"I hear echos of distant sadness within me."

So beautifully written. I too hear echos of the many losses in my life. Sending warm regards to your friend.

Veronik Van Ouwerkerk

Thank you for writing this and thank you all for your comments.

I live in a small town in Mexico where they toll the bells when someone has died...at that time I always think of John Done poem..which says "don't ask for whom the bells toll....they toll for me..."

Patt

I was caught so off guard with emotion when my father passed away the day after his 78th birthday in Nov 08. I retreated except for taking care of my Mothers every need. After several months and not hearing from me my husbands cousin Val (of whom I am very close) called and said she would be up Wednesday from the Solano County, about 1 1/2 hours away. She came, we had a wonderful lunch, cried, drove to Chico, shopped at Nantuckets, cried, walked the beautiful Chico streets, cried, laughed, talked about the loss of my Father and her Mother, cried. We have been doing this every Wednesday for almost a year. The destination is always different. We cried less and less and now hardly at all. We still talk about our parents who have passed but with different words. The melody of our words have changed. They now have a happy tune. Our Wednesdays are now less about greiving and more about exploration. I do not think I could have made this progress without my dear friend Val. My Father loved to travel and explore and I know he is enjoying every adventure Val and I take. You are Ladelle's Val. Giving her your gift of time and listening will work miracles for her. It will just take time.

Gwen

Cory...so sad and touching. Ladelle is so lucky to have a wonderful friend in you. My sister also knows exactly how all this feels. Last year her second husband died of cancer...as did her first husband. When we heard the news, we packed and within an hour was driving to Mobile to be with her. No surprise, she was the one comforting us and has continued to do so. She has moments of sheer emptiness that is overwhelming but she says that she will be happy again, but not too soon.

Karen C

I lost both my parents before my 30th birthday and both my parents in law (who I loved dearly) less than 5 years later. I was not able to be with any of them in their last moments, which I have very mixed feelings about.
As a nurse, I watched many people die and saw the pain of the many families and loved ones who watched over them. Regardless of the circumstances I truly believe that everyone dies at the right time whether they have someone with them or are on their own. There is no other way to explain why some people make it to their side within minutes and some miss the moment by minutes. I believe the dying person knows when the time is right.
Even knowing this, I still struggle as to why I was never 'allowed' to be by the side of any of my parents and I envy people who share that moment with someone.
All my children were born following their grandparents deaths and I often still feel anger towards those who say they do not know how they would cope without their own parents.
Well, you do!
You just keep on going and you get tougher.
Sometimes too tough and people get bruised by your rough edges.
I am slowly beginning to learn how to round off my roughness so that people won't be so afraid of getting close to me.
It's been a long, long journey and it is only God's goodness that none of it has infected my 3 beautiful sons who people warm to so easily and tell me how polite, decent and caring they are and what fine men they have grown into.
I wish everyday that their grandparents could meet them.

fitty

I lost my dear step mom, 1 1/2 years ago, to cancer.. I was sad, devastated, no words could describe how I felt at that time or even now.. I was one of the closest stepchildren to her.. and on her last day, I was the one who brought her home in an ambulance when all medication failed, that was her last ride home before we buried her. In fact i was with her for the past two weeks of her last life.. until now, I still think about her.. visit her grave every now & then, and her last word to me was to take care of my dad and my step brother for her until all of us meet her again in heaven, hopefully.. :( thank you a lot for sharing your story with us.. all your friend could right now is be strong.. and have faith in God Al-Mighty coz god knows whats the best for us..

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