Saying Good-By

I have a friend in hospice who is likely to pass soon.  She is a wonderful friend and has gone through a lot in the last few years.  We often spoke of fears and difficulties with each other.  I went to visit her the other day, for perhaps the final time.  She sat upright and spoke softly.  Her eyes were distant, but she was fully present.  I fought tears as I sat with her, as she ask for healing touch to ease her pain.  I held her hands and looked at her and ask, “are you afraid?” She looked at me and replied, ” Sometimes I feel a deep calm.”  As our conversation progressed and I cried, she remained calm and consoled me as I spoke about having difficulties letting go of her flesh, of her in the here and now where we could touch and talk.  She listened so peacefully.  When I went to go she held my hands tighter.  I said I didn’t want to overstay.  She didn’t say anything, so I sat and we spoke quietly for some time.  Then she gave me the greatest gift, she told me to keep doing what I was doing, with my kids, my family and my yoga students.  She told me I had given her so much and yet I felt she was the one who had given — her love, her money, her time, her spirit, her life.  When I finally prepared to go I told her, “this is not good-bye, it’s just see you in another place.”  She smiled a warm and loving smile.  She hugged me and kissed me.  Then I left.  For a brief moment I was sad because I knew I would probably not see her again in this life.  After a moment, though, I began to feel wonderful.  My friend and I left nothing left unsaid.  No loose ends, no regrets between us, no anger, no pain.  It was love I felt. Although I knew I would miss her body I also know death would free her from her pain, allow her to grow and be the bigger spirit she is.  I knew she would be okay as she crossed over to that other space.  I knew her strength was enough, her love enough.  I’ll miss her, but I know she is always with me in my heart. I know I’ll see her again.