Thicket

sculpture detail, ceramic,giant porcupine quills

sculpture detail, ceramic,giant porcupine quills

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Two beloved male friends/collectors have taken their own lives in the last few months.

Seemingly highly functioning and fairly contented people have demons we could never even dream of.

My heart hurts.

And yet, I have an odd peace.

It almost feels embarrassing to say it as the expectation is for weeping and horror and countless other displays.

I’m certainly not saying I am immune because I am not.

I loved these two friends deeply.

I also respect them both with all I’ve got.

They were both extremely private men. Highly accomplished in work and play. Neither had children but left magnificent women behind.

Living with the challenges of MS gives rise to having death on your shoulder.

Not in a bad way.

But a way that changes me.

It is a good practice to make friends with death.

Life becomes very real and VERY precious.

One starts to have the feeling that you are LIVING in church, not just attending once in awhile.

Love is not just a yearned-for, imagined fantasy of picket fences and the like.

It is there in the eyes of the forgotten and ordinary if we choose to look.

I have more love in my life at the moment that I could ever have imagined.

I know, without a doubt that my two friends knew I loved them.

Never spoken, perhaps, but a knowing just the same.

If I love them them, I must allow for their choices in life and death.

The peace I experience when in the midst of bereavement exists because I treat death as an inextricable part of life.

I don’t want to go there yet though I have thought of it as an end to the constant and, at times , seemingly unbearable thoughts of THE FUTURE.

But I ain’t there yet.

And so, with death as my teacher, I live.

Until I don’t.

Death really seems to me like a total experience of the loss of the thread to love; for ourselves, each other, the planet and when Spirit is no where to be found.

My tears for my friends are my imagining that they lost that thread or forgot.

But, if I say I love and respect them, I must settle with that knowledge and practice the ‘let-go’ that is so hard in love.

It is pure ego.

I want what I want. Them back here with me to enrich my life like before.

Hmmm… that sounds like it’s all about me…

Dearest Frederick and Doug: I love you and wish you peace. You left your mark on me. I am different and better because of you. You will be missed but I can feel you in my heart whenever I want.  I will try to spread around to others some of the compassion, intelligence, love of beauty and service to many that you both practiced masterfully. It will be so different around here without you. Thank you for the gift of your friendship. I am more and better because of you.

Love, Cathy

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