Last week, I wrote about having a wonderfully ungraceful meltdown from trying to take on and figure out just a bit too much all at once in this new life of mine. In the past week, I’ve slowed WAY down. I’ve stopped making overwhelming to-do lists. I’ve let myself wander and enjoy things. I’ve gone for morning walks and tried to focus on being kinder to myself. I’ve spent more time being quiet, and trying to pay attention to what’s really important. I’ve forced myself - against my will - to be more social and to reach out to support others who might need it too.
All of this has helped tremendously, but the thing that has really shaken me up and re-aligned my over-analytical brain was something much bigger. On Monday afternoon, I got a phone call from one of my very closest friends. We never call unexpected, so I knew something was wrong. Sure enough, the news was not good. One of our friends had finally passed away, after a lifetime battle with an autoimmune disease that made her body attack itself terribly. And though I would not say we were close friends… she and I became closer because of Drew’s death. She reached out to me, hardly knowing me, and our friendship grew for several years as we wrote back and forth about death, grief, the darkness of life… about art and creativity and our love of nature. She was a talented artist and one of the most unique souls I have ever known. She knew things about life that most of us do not know - those of us who have never had to face our own mortality. I knew things she did not, having lost so many in my life before her. We were always learning from each other, and so even though we were not particularly close friends, it kind of always felt like our souls had known each other for many lifetimes.
Despite all this woman had been through, she had a brightness in her soul that everyone noticed. A brightness perhaps that comes from the burden of knowing you will not live long. And though we knew she would likely pass in a few months, it came more suddenly this week than expected. It hit me harder than I thought it would. And that familiar feeling came… the very pit of my soul could feel that her light had gone out. Her brilliant light, and all of the creative energy and beauty that she brought to this world just by being her and sharing what she loved with all of us… it was gone now. The feeling inside me that whenever I thought of her, I felt her aliveness, and it filled me with a little more of that aliveness too… just knowing she was out there living and being in such a beautiful way. It was all quiet now... except it wasn't actually. The more I listened, the more I began to hear her song again...Read more