To say the past week has been eventful is to make an understatement. Yes, I stay busy regardless, but this was different. I had to say goodbye to someone that I considered a dear friend. In the process, I felt peace, sadness, a sense deja-vu, relief, and guilt.
I was asked (and delighted) to help in several aspects of her funeral. I found those things to be very cleansing and sacred. There were moments when I felt like I sensed her near, and that she was grateful for the little that I could do. It also seemed like she was at peace herself. For me, to finally be able to do something for her after watching her suffer through months of illness and feeling completely powerless to do anything useful, was a sense of peace in itself.
I’m sure this one makes sense. I will miss her. She had a quiet but wickedly funny sense of humor. She was full of wisdom, and gave me an example of the way a mother should love and watch over her children — even after they are grown. She became like a grandmother to me, and I looked forward to the opportunity to give her rides. Sometimes, we would just ride in silence, enjoying the company and the solitude of our thoughts. She understood.
I was surprised how hard this one hit me. Like many parents, some of her children have made life choices that didn’t sit well with her. She wanted to stay to help them in any way that she could. Her family was her world and her life. I’ve written several times on here about how divorce has affected my family, and my heart knows that I face a probable future of having to leave this life without seeing my own family as closely knit as I want them to be. I understood her will and fight to stay here. I will probably fight just as hard when it’s my turn.
My friend had been in pain and sick for months. Her daughter watched over her, cared for her, and literally wore herself out in the service of her mother. I had the chance to get to know her first, and then got to know her daughter as her health declined. They are both beautiful women. Her mother has lived a good life, and lived with complete integrity the faith that she held so dearly. To know that her suffering has ceased, that her daughter’s burdens have been lightened, and that, in the eternities, I will embrace her again brings a sense of relief with it.
This one has been the hardest for me. Some of the lessons I have learned in life aren’t all that wonderful. One of those lessons is to keep my true feelings hidden deep — especially love. One reason is that I am a deeply passionate person, and I believe that I would be misunderstood if I routinely express the full extent of what I feel. The other reason is that I learned early that other people can’t be trusted with my feelings. I guess I learned that anything I feel can and will be used against me in the most hurtful way possible.
Sadly, that means that there are a lot of people in my life who have no idea how much I love them. They have no idea how wonderful I think they are, how much I treasure any time that I get to spend with them, and how much I admire and look up to them. I let my friend go, and I didn’t let her know, either.
Unfortunately, there is nothing more I can do. It’s my turn to let go.