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Heartbreak into Compassion

I lost a spiritual Sister this week. She left this earth in a tragic way. I felt heartbroken. Yet I could sense her close. My love and admiration for her brought her to me in spirit. And as the week went on, there were times of connecting with others who knew and loved her, sharing our current feelings and past experiences with her. And prayers. For her, as she makes the transition into heavenly realms. For her husband who was critically injured. And for her family and friends.

Something didn’t feel right about the way she died. The circumstances are still being investigated by the police. Many of us shared this sentiment, as well as it being unbelievable, unfathomable. And many of us voiced agreement that we would hold the memory of who she was in our hearts, of who we knew her to be, the wonderful woman, beautiful inside and out, a shining light. Then I had a talk with another spiritual friend who knew her. She deepened that perspective. That it really didn’t matter how she died. That on some spiritual level we each chose our death. What matters is the meaning we give her death. To question why this tragedy touched us so deeply. What does it mean for us?

I had a deep connection through messages over the years, where she always made me feel so valued and seen and respected. After a few brief calls we were planning to meet at a local cafe while I was in the area where she lived. She had to cancel at the last minute because her daughter had a medical issue that she needed to help her with. I was disappointed that we weren’t going to meet, but I understood and respected the importance she placed on her daughter, as another Mother who is close to her daughter too.

When people that we know or know of and have some kind of connection with die, it is always personal to us. How we feel. Does it remind us of our own sadness and grief when another loved one passed from this plane of existence. Does it make us have concern and caring from those that are left behind? Spouses, children, parents, friends, colleagues. Does it bring up our own loss of connection with that person who was significant to us?

What is our own view of death? Do we fear it? Does it make us sad or angry when someone leaves us?

As I felt the heartbreak, my heart opened more and I experienced compassion for a friend that had personal heartbreaks herself, of losing a daughter to suicide last year, and the other trials and tribulations that many of us go through. I also felt a deepening commitment to being visible, to helping as many people as I can heal their deep emotional traumas. For today is her birthday. She would have been fifty. And today is the International Day of Peace. I wish her peace. I value a sense of peacefulness in my own life, and share tools for others to experience this as well. I feel at peace now, sitting under Grandmother Tree, with the peace that the Buddha represents. I envision peace for you in whatever challenges you are going through in your own life, and for all the troubled souls in the world. For beneath the emotional turmoil are calm waters of our wise Presence. For all who are struggling to find this calm feeling, I wish you peace.

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