As we grow, we develop valuable tools. The best tool may be recognizing that we can grow and are still growing. Becoming. I finally feel that I am starting to become whom I was always meant to be. It’s a messy process. I appreciate every minute of it. I feel more connected to those around me and even those no longer here.
In the last 14 months, I have seen many people I love and care about leave this earth for space and time that we no longer occupy together. I don’t know if that makes sense. I am not religious, I don’t believe in heaven or hell, but I know that I have felt something that can’t be explained with words.
Is coincidence purely so? I want to share this story that has made me believe, now more than ever, that feelings, sensations, and instincts are as accurate as tangible things that exist around us. I had friends staying over for a few days. It was known to all of us that the end of earthly life was near for another very dear friend. We ate a beautiful meal; we talked about our friend. After dinner, we sat around the table, sharing stories. I had an overwhelming urge to get up and play a piece of music composed by my dying friend. Knowing those around me would give me this space, I sat at the piano and played. I learned the following day that my friend had left our plane of existence. It was only several weeks later that I learned the time she had passed, and it would have coincided with the time I was playing her piece.
It could be a coincidence. Yet, I believe that we are all connected by the energy around us. If we open our hearts and our minds, we can feel it. I have been struggling with the notion of grief. What is grief supposed to look like, feel like? I have an excellent therapist (get a therapist you like, recommend, 10/10), and I understand that there are different stages of grief; it looks different for everyone. There isn’t a wrong way to grieve, yadda, yadda, yadda. That’s all fine and good, but what does it mean?
My father suffered from cancer for several months before he passed. Anticipatory grief. We knew he couldn’t get better. We wondered what he must be thinking. He didn’t talk much. I saw him get angry about it once. I shared his last moments with him. I believe there is a connection we can make with others who have lost a parent. Losing my father helped me profoundly understand a friend’s grief over losing their father. I could not have understood in the same way until then. My friend and I had very different relationships with our respective fathers, but the understanding is the same. This grief connects us somehow.
As many of us gather to celebrate a beautiful life this weekend, we will be connected by this grief. We will also be connected because we know the spirit of this beautiful person. I say “know” and not “knew” because I feel her spirit is still here with us. It will guide us through this time of grief. We will feel her love, energy, and presence as we move through this.
Part of my growing and becoming the most authentic version of myself is sharing my thoughts with you. “Feel it in your heart; trust it in your gut.” My friend Ellen wrote these words for me a year before she died. I am trying to use these words as a guide as I share my writing. We all need this human connection. We need to believe in ourselves and the gifts left by those gone too soon. I accept those gifts and honour them in a way that feels right to me.
I am sending you love today. I am putting it out there in the universe, in the messy space that exists between you and me and those we have lost.