For those we love
A week ago a good friend of mine made her way to her new life beyond this one. It had been a hard time for her family to watch her sleeping body her last few days. It was as if she had left but her body had yet to stop functioning. I have experienced close friends leaving before and this time it was different for me as this friendship was forged when we both were going though a period of grieving and bereavement. Her husband and mine became friends when they were sharing a room at a hospital and passed within a few months of each other. The first New Year’s Eve which was only a few months after their passing and it was so comforting when she and I spent it together because we could be one hundred percent authentic. If we wanted to laugh we could and if we wanted to cry we could and if we wanted to swear we could have! As it turned out neither of us felt we needed to swear. Instead, as the clock struck twelve we raised our glasses and toasted each other and toasted the guys who were no longer physically with us. Fast forward to now and our friendship has grown over the years and became even stronger each year. After she was admitted to hospital, I answered her texts whenever she felt like texting me. She was a no fuss, no muss person and liked corny jokes so I promised her I would supply her with really bad jokes daily. Each evening we made a plan to meet on some beach somewhere during dreamtime. She and I had gone on vacation the year after our guys left so meeting on a beach was something that resonated with us and our passion for oceans and waves lapping on the shore. I felt compelled to write this as it helps me understand my feeling of loss even though I believe she is simply in another dimension and very much still in my heart. It took me years to understand that I could keep the love in my heart when I was widowed. I was afraid it would be too painful to bear, to have that great love within me and at the same time face the fact that this person was no longer in the physical. I’m glad I have learned to do that. It helps me to know that although my friend is no longer here, she is still in my heart and having that love does not have to pain me. For anyone who reads this who is going through bereavement, may you find some solace in the fact that love never dies.
It was twenty one years ago this month that I said ‘“ till we meet again” to my husband. The love that I felt then is still in my heart and I know it will last forever. It is unconditional without attachment. I have loved others since then and look forward to doing that infinitely. When you have known great love why would you not want to experience it again?
I would like to share with you the last verse of one of John O’Donahue’s poems in his book To Bless the Space Between Us where he wrote on the passing of a loved one.
May you continue to inspire us:
To enter each day with a generous heart.
To serve the call of courage and love
Until we see your beautiful face again.
In the land where there is no separation,
Where all tears will be wiped from our mind,
And where we will never lose you again.