This week a woman Julia and I knew from a handful of gatherings, through a family that we are very close to, passed away. We were both moved by her passing as if we had known her our whole lives. This was a woman who embodied the maternal. She did not apologize for being here. She parted the waves of complacent ignorance. Her laugh emptied you of fear and filled you with a support that encouraged your being to come forward. She created an arena around her, a forum for whatever truth was present to be nourished. She was real in every sense of the word. Her candor was so refreshing, not only did it put you at your ease but lightened you up so that you could laugh at your own pretense.
We went to her service and learned that when her children were being bullied in school she brought the bully to tears of contrition in the principal’s office by asking “What is hurting you so much inside that you have to make my children sad?” She was not only larger than life, she was larger than death. When she had learned she had cancer, she refused to let it stop her from embracing the things and the people she loved. She raised money for cancer treatment and continued to be a brash force of kindness.
The couple who introduced us to this wonderful woman, led her service. They were strong in the way that everyone needed them to be, but not only did they put us at ease, they lifted us up to her level. We would all be rich beyond compare to have someone lift us up after we have gone, with such good humor and earnest praise. Certainly, she lifted herself up enough to be remembered in the best way but it takes a true friend to present us to those who didn’t know who we were and expand us to those who did.
It makes me feel very fortunate to have such amazing people in the fabric of my time here.
One of the last people to speak said that if she was there she would have said, “What were you thinking having these people get up at this hour of the morning?”
This was worth getting up early for. It wasn’t a funeral, it was reminder to love fully, regardless of the rules; to live life on our own terms. To remember that we are all part of one delicious Self and then to be Self-ish and wrap our arms around life and not let go, even when we loose form.
For all of those who have shown us the secret value of being here, no hug is strong or long enough.