This last week I heard that a friend and mentor had passed. Deep love at times reveals deep sadness, but this means we have experienced joy, too!
Out of tragedy can come unexpected blessings!
My accident was devastating to me. I lost all confidence. I often felt overwhelming sadness and powerlessness. People would stay away because they didn’t know what to say, how to help and, as the recovery dragged on, it became harder for others to understand why I didn’t just “pull up my boot straps and get on with it”.
Yet true love never judges. It is unconditional and tirelessly compassionate even when we don’t understand another’s journey. My friend never wavered in her steadfast support, showing up “coincidentally” when I would be at my saddest point, or there to laugh when joy came unexpectedly in that pain.
This good friend taught me the importance of being present, truly present, with those you love.
Because as Goethe says … “That which matters most should never be at the mercy of that which matters least.”
My friend and mentor that passed this week came into my life only because of my accident. What I thought was one of the worst moments of my life turned out to be a great blessing.
As you know in my book, “Falling into the Rhythm of Life: Life Lessons Straight from the Horse’s Mouth”, I co-authored this with my horses. Yet this would not have happened had it not been for my friend and mentor Wendy, whom I met when I visited the Horse Spirit Connections centre where she and Andre opened their home and hearts to me. Through their workshops and the spirit of the horses there, I began a journey of awakening, not only from the “sleep” of my concussion, but literally changed my brain and resurrected hope I had not felt since my accident.
As I returned attend their workshops, I found I stuttered less, my words came easier to me, and love and grace entered in as Wendy introduced me to the ability of the horses to unconditionally, in silent moments, quiet the mind and renew the soul.
Many times we avoid those who have suffered great loss because we just don’t know what to say or how to express our deep sadness at their loss or struggles. Yet just your presence in the still silence is truly a way to show great love, caring and compassion.
I sat with my dad one Sunday afternoon after he was diagnosed with prostate cancer. I struggled to find words to express my love and how deeply I cared for him. I so desperately wanted to fix that which I could not fix. Then a song by Wynona Judd came into my head and the words that struck me were “I will be a witness in the silence when words are not enough.”
Be there. Just be there even if you feel uncomfortable. If you just can’t find the words, it doesn’t matter. It is your presence that shares your deepest love and intention. Stay steadfast in the days, months, and years that it may take to journey through their challenging times.
And remember, those we love never truly leave us. They live on in in the flow of tears and moments of laughter remembering the times you spent with them and in the joy and love you shared.
Life truly will never be the same. But I would rather have loved and lost than to never have loved at all. (Alfred Lord Tennyson).
Blessings, peace, and joy my friends! Love even at the risk of loss! God’s greatest gift is friendship and the love we share.