The Gift Of My Best Friend's Life
Photo by Igor Cancarevic (unsplash)
It has been just over 6 months since my dear friend Lynn passed away. I am still so very sad. I miss her irreverent and spicy humor, her to-a-fault honesty, and her zest for life and love. She held nothing back! When her spirit called her to leave a job she loved and was incredible at, to make more time to practice doing what she loved even more --- she made the leap. “Life is short”, she’d often say, “so have that yummy dessert!”, …. or learn to sail in the Caribbean on a boat with 9 guys (relatively recently), or live, work, and backpack in Australia for a year (before having a family).
She thrived on adventure and the outdoors --- especially cross-country skiing in our snowy Canadian winters. Nature was her happy place. It was so lovely when one of her friends took her to sit beside the water in late winter, bundling her up with blankets against the cold, enjoying a hot drink and snack while absorbing peace and quiet companionship. An island of serenity taking her away from the unrelenting pressures of fighting her Stage 4 cancer diagnosis --- at least for a few precious moments.
Because fight it, she did, with every ounce of strength available to her. She had so many friends who wanted to help, and great relationships with a plethora of alternative and complementary health professionals, who were generous with their time and expertise, as she’d always been with hers. She’d been a giver her whole life, and had to learn to accept and receive help, sometimes even ask for it. I’m sure it went against the grain for such a strong independent woman! Life- threatening illness distills a person’s needs and wants right down to the bare essentials --- whatever gets you through this month, this week, or this hour.
One of the stresses in her life was the undeniable fact that with so many opinions and suggestions for how to fight this cancer (some conflicting with each other!), it was difficult for her to make decisions about what SHE wanted. She was used to managing the needs and expectations of others. I think it may have been hard for her to hear her own inner voice, her own guidance. She was so very sick and scared and, bloody hell… how hard is it to be clear-minded with a lot of confidence in your decision-making under those brutal circumstances? Her 20 month journey was messy and chaotic, but packed full of love anyway.
I think of the special “Mother’s Day Tea” her daughters organized. They went all out with fancy homemade foods, décor and crazy hats. The weather was balmy, the sun glorious, and those couple of hours rang with stories and laughter. I think it took 2 days in bed for her to get over it --- but she wouldn’t have wanted to miss one minute of it! I think of her dear sister, who lives in Nova Scotia and came by air twice --- extending her stay each time, being there for the whole family, and who still is a mainstay in the girls’ lives. I think of her health professional friends who gave her treatments for free, her extensive collection of friends both old and new, who signed up to be with her in the last weeks and months, so she wouldn’t be alone.
None of us get out of this life alive, and some are sadly taken too soon. Yet if the measure of a person’s life is how much love was both given and received, Lynn had that in spades. I hear family and friends share that, even now, they still talk to her from time to time. Sometimes they even hear her blunt humorous answers! I know I do.
The very best of her, walks with me on our continuing journeys --- with my feet solidly on this earth and her joyous fully healed spirit just a porous thin veil away. She changed many people’s lives for the better, with her love, her friendships, and her awesome gift for healing. Those ripples travel far and wide and down through the generations. What more could anyone want from their lives than to know they made a difference?
Einstein said that matter and energy never truly disappear --- they just change form. She may be gone, but her love, wisdom and enthusiasm have seeped into our bones and taken up permanent residency in our hearts and minds. Perhaps even bent the trajectory of how we live our lives going forward! Best of all, this final gift of hers has no expiry date at all…
12/31/2022 08:54:27 am
What a warm and touching tribute from a good friend. Her love of life touched you and left its mark on yours. May you cherish the memories...
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I am excited, and just a wee bit nervous about starting a Blog. A book is edited and re-edited till the cows come home, until I feel comfortable with both the message and the tone or “feel” of the piece. If I did that with a blog, I don’t think I’d ever get it out there! It’s more of a “state of the moment” sharing --- what I’m thinking or feeling about a topic that I judge may resonate with my readers, very specifically from a present moment perspective. This will not be a daily, or even necessarily weekly offering. I will write when I feel moved by the Spirit to do so!