Panorama of San Bernardino

Friday, May 22, 2015

Journal at 5 am

A good friend's mom passed away Wednesday night and yesterday, I visited her. I knocked on her door in Glendora and she opened it looking beautiful, in her Andie McDowell way, but I could see the sadness and grief in the slump of her shoulders and the shine of her watery eyes.

I didn't know what to say. I just hugged her tight. I know that showing up for someone in these situations is always the most important.  

The thing is that I didn't expect to be so emotional myself.  I was there for her, but really I was also there as a kind of payback for those who had been there for me when my father died.  I was there to remind myself that life is short.  I was there to remember that work should always be of secondary importance to family and friends.

This death was not about me or my grief, but I have dealt with so much heartache this last year that it seemed almost more normal to help her wade through it.  The day to day is still hard for me I must admit.  I find petty things trying. Perhaps, the reality is that I'm best in crisis mode and ultimately, it feels more comforting to comfort someone else through the deep abyss of grief and loss.

And, in a situation like this with a true friend, it is real and poignant.  We can let the barriers down for a day and take off the mask(s) we all wear and just be true.  I told my friend how much I valued her and that she was amazing.  I wonder why I never say these things (without sarcasm) in the normal day to day?  

Maybe in the end, it is just about being there for someone in the worst of times.  The good times are easier for most I suppose.  But, I'll take this any day even though it's harder because it makes me confront my own mortality and my own failings. I know I can be a better person. 

That's all I have to say this morning.