Sunday, October 30, 2016

The loss of a dear friend

I lament the loss of a very dear friend, who passed recently. My heart aches for the loss of her presence in my life. I love her dearly. J.D. (using initials for privacy purposes) brought comfort and empathy wherever she went. I will remember her as a generous, kind, giving, hard working, proactive, genuine, gentle woman. She did so much for the communities that she lived in... not just through volunteering but through her presence. I will miss her, my friend, and my heart aches for her loved ones.

J.D. volunteered or became involved with environmental groups from all over the world. She donated her time to numerous community events from theater productions to community gardens and harvest sharing. She also volunteered and did work with Creston’s literacy group, Granby Wilderness Society, PAWS, local classrooms, and a wide variety of projects via the local Native Indian band... to name a few. She was a caring gardener of plants, rescuer of animals and a caregiver to fellow beings.

Many of her friends will remember her interest in making natural products, in harvesting native plants, in utilizing “weeds” to make incredible salves. People have said they remember her as always smiling, how she faced many health issues with integrity – and as I recall, she had such bravery facing all she did. She enjoyed yoga, hand drumming, the arts, language and nature. Her art graces many native drums, buildings and more. We will always cherish the drum J.D. and her husband made for us.

J.D. made me want to become a better person. She was a mentor to me – I looked up to her many positive attributes. I will cherish our visits and the challenge she set out for us all, simply by living her life the way she did – the challenge to be better people, to care and get involved with our community, to stand up for what is right, and to do what we can in our own daily life to leave a more positive imprint.

The sun dimmed for me the day I learned of her passing… the morning after a dream about her that I was trying, but failing, to remember. It turns out many people said she appeared in their dreams when this happened. She was a part of so many peoples’ lives. The world is lessened by the loss of her presence – however it was graced by every day of her life.

After some time for initial grief, I realized something. There was a time when I was cut off from the world emotionally; I didn’t want to connect because I was afraid to hurt. Every time I lost someone it hurt so much I became afraid to feel that way again, to be vulnerable. Losing J.D. is very painful, but you know – I feel blessed to have known her. To have had her in my life and I realize that being in pain and vulnerable can have a positive side too. How glad I am to have met her. Thank you J.D. for being in my life.

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