On What We Hold Dear

True friends are always together in spirit.

L.M. Montgomery

A few days ago, I received some news. A dear friend of mine, whom I haven’t seen in a few years, passed away from the pandemic. She was someone who took me under her wing and gave me unconditional love. She was one of those people who possessed infinite wisdom, kindness, and humility. She had endured heartache over her lifetime but still shone brightly. She offered support to me as I faced crossroads in my life. At times we seemed to face eerily similar situations, and her advice and understanding were instrumental in helping me navigate many challenges. She was a kindred spirit.

It’s taken me some time to process it. Not being in daily contact, not being face-to-face, I’m ashamed to say it didn’t feel real at first. Lately, I’ve been so overwhelmed with many responsibilities and stresses in my life that part of me has “shut down” so I can focus on meeting the minimum of these daily needs. Until this morning, when I was cleaning my home. Over the years we have exchanged gifts, paintings, sculptures, even a hand crafted throw she made. I treasure them all. As I dusted a ceramic owl she’d given me, it hit me: she was gone. This beautiful, giving soul had left the earth. I’m not one to shed tears often unless something touches me deeply, and they fell silently this morning as I held this small gift in the palm of my hand. I like to believe that she is at peace. One of our last conversations was about her work with children and how fulfilling she found it. It was her whole life. She was never able to have biological children, and these were her children. She leaves behind a legacy of love and inspiration to all those whose lives she touched. I feel blessed to have shared a part of her life.

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