Today was the funeral for my friend Mary Jo. I sang for her funeral, at a request she had made in writing. I was honored to sing. I was broken to say goodbye. I want another Mary Jo lunch, a Mary Jo hug, a Mary Jo coaching session, a Mary Jo encounter, a Mary Jo moment.
Another death. Another loss. Another sense of my failures. I suppose we are hardest on ourselves when we are empty. I want more. I feel so greedy. But, I want more. I want to know why life feels so limited even when it’s boundless. Why do I allow life to get too busy for me to keep up? Why do daily distractions overwhelm the more meaningful parts of life?
Mary Jo was one of my biggest cheerleaders, both before and after Shawn’s death. I didn’t want to lose another cheerleader. I feel so sad tonight. I can finally sit at my computer and cry, because there are no further expectations. I was obliged to stay composed during the funeral. Singing requires a collected self. All day I was teetering between calm and uncontrolled. I feel confusedly thrown back into a chaos of thoughts tonight.
Promptings. I keep coming back to the notion of instinct. We need to answer the nudges of our hearts. We need to follow our life’s calling and chase our spirit’s intuition. Our last moments with friends and family are never revealed early. They occur on schedule, but not on an agenda we are privileged to plan. If we feel moved, we need to respond. The risk of waiting may be too costly.
The last time I saw Mary Jo was at a speaking engagement where we were surrounded by many other people. When we hugged goodbye in the parking lot, the last thing I said to her was, “I wanted to talk to you alone today. I wanted you all to myself.” The last thing she said to me was, “I know. Let’s do lunch or dinner. Email me a date. You did great today. You simply shine.” Our final goodbye ended with her kissing my cheek believing in great things for me. She always believed the best for me. I am crushed to ask myself if I did the same for her?
We are all placed in each other’s lives for a reason. Find the reason. This message compels me tonight to no end. I don’t want to ignore what I am learning about life. Life is placed before us today in the here and now. We have no guarantees. Our greatest accomplishments are stored in the love we share on earth. We have no other treasure.
Goodbye, dear friend. I learned so much from you both in your life and in your death. Your life was a legacy of sharing happiness and love with all those around you. May I never let go of your example as I strive to do the same.