After my morning ritual of journaling the cobwebs from my head, stretching the cricks from my joints, then feeding my body tea, fruit and grain, I felt jaunty, ready to go.
As I passed my desk, I noticed a text from an inner circle friend sharing that a mutual friend had suddenly passed away.
Instinctively, I sat down. I stared at the screen’s stark words. I knew my friend was hurting, too, yet the words seemed so flat on the phone. Maybe it’s not true, I begged. I read them over and over trying out every interpretation to deny the obvious as I felt my energy sink from the top of my head into a dense lump below my stomach.
Suddenly processing another significant loss, I recalled Mother’s Day just weeks before, the first since Mom died last October. Getting ready to drive to my hometown and join the family, something had set me off, and my ‘stuff’ had risen and roared. I called another inner circle friend who listened, allowed me to be mad, suggested ideas, then consoled while cajoling me to a happier, healing place. I felt better, the rolling boil reduced to a steaming simmer. Then she gently asked, “Have you written a letter to your mother telling her how much you miss her?”
Tears welled, and I could hardly take the breath to say ‘thanks’ before hanging up. I slumped into my desk chair and through my puddled vision, found the home keys.
After wrapping up the letter, I sat spent. I rested, but soon scolded myself for being a writing coach to others, yet I hadn’t identified what I needed. I’d journaled about Mom all week acknowledging the significance of the coming holiday, but didn’t reach the core of complete expression, much less release. Like when I encountered a display of Mother’s Day cards at the grocery store, felt the onset of pain and quickly pushed my buggy around the glaring truth, the overture was obvious. Still, I pleaded for the opposite, politely notating the incident in my journal without divining its essence.
Putting avoidance and perfection aside, I finally spotted the depth of my hurt, as well as the stealthy way I’d skirted around it, and then wrote and nurtured myself. Simultaneously, I gave thanks to Mom for all the love she’d shared and lessons she’d taught, to my friend for her compassionate encouragement, and to myself for opening again to full expression and accepting guidance.
Now, in the chair with phone still in hand, I sat with my present loss. I had lost a new friend, someone I knew for only a year, but one who expanded my heart and broadened my thinking while providing safety for me to share, ask personal questions, as well as listen to her truth. I had bonded with her kind, unassuming spirit, a unique presence draped with honor and love.
Recently, I pondered plans to spend time deepening our friendship into the inner circle. Unexpectedly, all that remained were memories of someone special who gave so much in such a brief time.
So, I asked myself the question, “Can I tell her how much she meant to me and how much I will miss her?” I put down my phone and ceremonially placed fingers on home keys. My breathing deepened, my eyes dampened, and with courage and gratitude, I listened, and my mourning ritual began.