July 28, 2014

Honoring the Journey of a Friend

"Let Go and Let God?" 

Is that a trite Program mantra right now? The kind I would not advise to someone I love?  

Right now a dear friend, whom I have shared my heart with some  twelve years, is facing the end of her life.   

My family and I just got back from a week camping. 

The time away in North Carolina's mountains gave me a tiny bit of acceptance and lots of reflection time so I can share a bit here, and not fall into tears.  

I've known that losing my friend was a possibility always, I guess.  Dying is a part of life. Yet, day to day, we ignore it for the most part.

 I, for my part, would build the bridge between us even if health limitations kept us from meeting up and spending time laughing in each other's presence.  Her health was full of mysteries that she alone could navigate. One was an emotional health concern, one that brought us together. 

Her wisdom as we talked about that part of our shared lives,  always helped me to soldier on, and never ever give up. (She was my bulwark through many challenges since I was re-diagnosed with a chronic mental illness.) 

The second health issue for K set boundaries for her that no amount of positive thinking could overcome. She tried to push against these boundaries, with her indomitable spirit.   In the end though, chronic fatigue delimited her ability to travel, do the work she loves to do: out-of-doors and on the properties she managed over the years.   CF made K's energy unarguably limited, and she had to pace herself. 

The heat of summer affected her energy, setting her back several months a year. 

I can relate to her need to escape from summer heat.  Our family really values our time in the mountains, when the endless summer of the Southeast sets in. 

But my friend's health concern is more chronic.  She's had to apply program to herself in new and creative ways, as she has learned to accept that her energy dips require her to rest, often for days, and to putter around and take small bites out of larger projects. 

I always thought my K would age very well, once she got the acceptance piece down… 95%.

This past March I was reaching out to K, in a role reversal, to check on some recent stomach pains she had developed. 

In the weeks that followed, my friend faced into her cancer diagnosis with determination. Together we focused on life. Not on statistics, but on her own power as an n of one. 

The end of her road came up to meet her when the chemotherapy zapped her energy to the point where life had no appeal. She chose to end the chemo in late May.  Now, I face into the fact that she is in hospice. 

I hear of people that "graduate" from hospice and surprise everyone with their resilience.  I want that for her. But I do not want her to linger in pain, trying to live for any of us who love her. 

I want her to live if that is God's will. I want her to let go, if that is her will.  

So maybe, just maybe… "let go and let God" is not a worn out slogan but a prayer.. that I can allow God's will do its work… and for her to surrender to the flow of the river, wherever it may lead.

So yes God:  Thy will, not mine, be done…  

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