Breathing Better Living Well

Breathing Better Living Well - Special Tribute 

Eileen Dulude  
August 8, 1950 - August 15, 2011

Dear Friends,

As some of you may already know, last month marked another loss at Breathing Better Living Well. We said good-bye to our lead moderator and dear  friend, Eileen Dulude. Eileen left us on August 15, after so valiantly fighting the biggest battle of her life - very severe COPD. I cannot begin to express how well-loved and respected she was at BBLW and how much she will be missed. 

Eileen was a registered nurse and worked for many years in hospice. No stranger to chronic disease and failing health, she brought knowledge, compassion, and dignity to her work at BBLW.  But perhaps we will remember her most by the joy... and the hugs... she shared, even though most of us had never met her in person. You see, at the end of each of her posts, along with her signature she posted an animated icon - a hug. We miss Eileen. And we miss her hugs.

Eileen joined Breathing Better Living Well (BBLW) on August 5, 2005 and contributed nearly 5,000 posts. Over the last few years she was our lead moderator and my right hand here at BBLW. She was always there to step up and help so I could continue with my other work and my writing. But in spite of her significant limitations, she was even more that that. Eileen was a precious personal friend. She listened, she encouraged me and she cheered me when I needed it most. No matter how far down she was, she always found a way to lift others up.

In addition to her work at BBLW, Eileen provided feedback early on as I was writing my new book, and later through meticulous and tireless research, contributed many of the resources in the "Your Turn" section at the end of each chapter. When she sent them to me, she asked that I look them over and let her know if they were not right. Each and every resource could not have been better. As a result of this work, a little part of Eileen will live on in the book that befits her life philosophy - living life with COPD with health, happiness and hope.

Eileen lived in Greenfield, Massachusetts. She is survived by her daughter Megan Healey, son-in-law Patrick Healey,  grandson Ezra, her sister Dorene LaValley, her brother Michael Quigley, nieces, nephews, good friends and feline companion, Lucy. Ezra was the light of Eileen's life. It was no secret how much she loved that baby! She once told me she was so happy, "I'm over the moon!" 

Our loss looms large. Our grief is deep. But we must go on. And we will. Our work at BBLW must go on. And it will. Eileen would have not wanted it any other way. You know, when it seems the storm clouds will never part, a ray of sunshine peeps through. We have the most amazing team.  They know how important this work is. In spite of their loss, they keep going to help all who enter our doors. In fact, it was at the inspired suggestion of one of our BBLW members, that there is now a special forum in the BBLW Community named in Eileen's honor. It is called, simply, "Hugs." It's a place to share a concern, encouragement, inspiration... or just a hug. That's our ray of sunshine. That's our hope - for each other - and for each of you.

I asked the members of our BBLW Team to share their thoughts of Eileen and what she meant to them. 

After I went on O2 and had to quit working, I started looking around the different on-line support groups and was just about ready to sign off and forget about it when I came across BBLW and met Eileen. She spent a lot of time with me, offering encouragement and support and made me feel at home. I knew I could always go to Eileen when I really needed someone to talk to.

Eileen is remembered and missed more than she would ever imagine. She was a friend, she touched many lives and shared with us along the way and I will always remember that.
Although I have never met, or have personally talked to Eileen, I got to know a lot about her and her passion through emails and message board posts. Since the day I joined the BBLW team, Eileen was very thoughtful and frequently checked in with me through emails. I really admired Eileen's mission to help others, and this showed through her knowledge and compassion displayed on BBLW. Eileen left big shoes to fill and she will be sorely missed.

Eileen was a wonderful, cheerful friend.  Since I have been coming to BBLW she was always "just there," and always ready to help.  I phoned her several times and we had great conversations, shared confidences and became closer friends.  She was so knowledgeable and I will forever miss her smiling "voice" and attitude...she just had a special way of being your friend, as if there was no one else in her world.  My world is a better place because she was part of it.

Eileen holds a special place in my heart. I never met her in person but she was a great friend to me. I know that might seem odd to some people but the internet has made that possible for us. When I met her on the Breathing Better Living Well website she was a great source of support for me. We communicated through email, website and telephone. She worked tirelessly on the website making sure things ran just right. She always was there to answer questions or fix what was needed. 
We talked about our lung disease, our medical struggles and of course our kids and grandkids. She was so excited over her new grandson and he was the light of her life. When I was going through a difficult situation with my daughter she gave me invaluable advice that I was so thankful for. She always put me at ease and was my cheerleader no matter the situation. Eileen was a remarkable caring and compassionate woman and I miss her everyday.

Here is a poem, shared by Dee.


Some People

By Flavia Weedn


Some people come into our lives

and leave footprints on our hearts

and we are never ever the same.


Some people come into our lives

and quickly go...Some stay for a while

and embrace our silent dreams.


They help us become aware

of the delicate winds of hope...

and we discover within every human spirit

there are wings yearning to fly.


They help our hearts to see that

the only stairway to the stars

is woven with dreams...

and we find ourselves

unafraid to reach high.


They celebrate the true essence

of who we are...

and have faith in all

that we may become.


Some people awaken us

to new and deeper realizations...

for we gain insight

from the passing whisper of their wisdom.


Throughout our lives we are sent

precious souls...

meant to share our journey

however brief or lasting their stay

they remind us why we are here.


To love.


Some people come into our lives

to cast a steady light

upon our path and guide our every step

their shining belief in us

helps us to believe in ourselves.


Some people come into our

lives to teach us about love...

The love that rests within ourselves.


Let us reach out to others

and feel the bliss of giving

for love is far richer in action

than it ever is in words.


Some people come into our lives

and they move our souls to sing

and make our spirits dance.


They help us to see that everything on earth

is part of the incredibility of life...

and that it is always there

for us to take of its joy.


Some people come into our lives

and leave footprints on our hearts

and we are never ever the same.

Thank you to my amazing BBLW Team for being there for each other, and for me, during this time. And thank you, dear friends, for being a part of our website, our family, and for sharing this special tribute with us. 

I wish for you all today, a day of joy, happiness and peace. And I'll see you again soon. 


       "A true friend is the best possession."
~~ Anonymous









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