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Love is stronger than death

Life Can Change In An Instant

Only Kindness Matters

People come into our lives for a reason

Last week my life was changed in an instant.  My best friend and sister-in-law, of more than 20 years, had a massive stroke, and after a few days passed away.  It’s a struggle to make sense of this senseless loss.  Mother, sister, daughter, friend, whatever her role she was special and amazing and taken away too young at 56.  

We are all still here - getting ready for Christmas, overwhelmed by the to-do lists, the holiday frenzy, the shopping, stuff that doesn’t really matter.  I find myself sad and numb, moving through the days.  

What we want, or rather, what we need, is to find some way to come to peace with this loss.  Some way to believe that she has gone to a better place.  Some way to offer comfort to her family, my children, our neighbors.  Some way to not to cry when in the grocery store, the doctor’s office or the post office when someone says I’m sorry.  

At her funeral, the priest giving the sermon said that when a baby or a young person dies we feel compassion, when an old person dies we feel understanding but that when a person in their midlife dies we feel fear.  It’s true.  We all fear that we are vulnerable to fate or destiny or that which we can’t control.  We fear we will die and leave our children too soon.  We fear we have not done enough, been enough, tried hard enough, or loved enough.  

Yet, here is what we know to be true – the only person you can change is yourself.  If these are our fears, we must face them.  If they are your fears, so must you.  How do I want to live?  With love in my heart, with sweet memories of happy times, with hope, with compassion, with gratitude for all that my friend brought to my life and the lives of all she held dear.  

Thank you Linda, for always believing in me.  I will hold your faith in me close and I will be strong and I will share that strength with your family and mine.  In the end, only kindness matters.  Be kind this holiday season, to yourself and to those you love.