“Prayer is not asking. It is a longing of the soul. It is daily admission of one’s weakness. It is better in prayer to have a heart without words, than words without a heart.” –Mahatma Gandhi
My friend died.
Sue felt she could not longer cope with the rejection and loneliness of the world…and she took her own life. Sue died last November I do not know how to think about this…because she was in my life for three years. Each time I turn around in my house, I come upon something that was hers…a particular gift that she gave to me…a card that was lost and now found…her writing on letters…and then I think how I must have failed her.
I think about how she helped me build a closet in our basement…I think about how when my furnace did not work and she gave the serviceman the solution as to why…she was so knowledgeable! I think about how she helped me drive the distance from Wisconsin to Arkansas to help my daughter. She went above and beyond the call of friendship. Sue was there…and she would offer to help…always.
Sue did the same for the people in her neighborhood. She would help anyone in need. She never hesitated to listen to those who were rejected by others…the homeless–she would share her money with them immediately…the immigrant who had no friends…the old man at the corner bar who needed to tell his story. Sue would listen…and give people a little of her time….precious time…and the person would feel so happy that someone listened.
Sue was a talented photographer. She was brave and courageous and hung her work in the cafes in Madison. We did that together…and now the walls are empty.
But I could not go the distance…and we parted ways.
Then in and out of my life, with emails here, phone calls there, she moved far away…and went on with her life. Again…rejection. Sue did have determination and persistence—she persevered in always trying to belong. She was brought up Christian, then joined the Catholic Church, then their rejection did not help. Next, she sought Reiki and looked for healing there…and then also, someone rejected her. Next, she became a part of the Wiccan practice…there also…rejection.
I would listen to all of these rejections! How much can one person take? She gallantly tried ever so much! But the people…we the people did not respond…we were caught up in our own salvation…I was caught up in mine.
Then she met someone…I prayed it would work for them…then the news was not good. I do NOT blame the other person…I do NOT blame Sue. Some times things just do not click…I know we each fight for our survival…our happiness…our peace…sometimes it works to share this quest with others, sometimes not.
I hesitated…I did not know if I should or shouldn’t interfere…not that I thought I could change the relationship status, but I thought I might be able to catch her when it happened…so she would not give-up. I was afraid of where she might go with this …it was becoming critical…so I tried to reach her…emails went unanswered…phone calls not returned… I did not try hard enough.
Then it was too late.
Three months too late.
I found out on her birthday that she had ended her life three months earlier. I had gone to wish her a happy birthday on her facebook page — for some reason it never dawned on me to try to speak to her on that infamous site — because we always wrote emails or spoke on the phone. ..see…more excuses coming into my brain…then that day, my facebook reminded me that it was her birthday…so I went there…and then seeing a birthday remark by someone else flipped the switch on and made me realize that she was gone!
That day was a horrible day for me. I cried and cried…and still am crying for her loss and my stupidity. I had no one to comfort me. But I felt I deserved that bit of alienation…that loneliness…because did I not cause that for her?
All that she wanted was to be loved…to be accepted for who she was…she had suffered so much in her life. She was rejected by her family. She was threatened with losing her life by her ex-husband. She searched and searched for groups to belong…
I did not let her belong either.
I was a coward.
I must live with that thought of excluding her…forever.
Today, again I realize, how words are so important…words that are felt should be spoken with gentleness and kindness…with always good intent. What we say or do not say…the efforts that we make…or do not make…how much our individual speech and actions impact one another.
My prayer knows now that she is at peace and I speak to her…I call her name out to the universe…my prayer is also one of asking for forgiveness…for not being a stronger person…for not helping her when she needed me most…for not making her feel like she belonged.
I am NOT writing this for people to feel sorry for me, or to tell me “she would have done it anyway”…or to forgive myself…I am writing this to emphasize how important it is to act on our own intuition…to take the impulse and look at it seriously…I am writing this to say, I realize the impact of my words and my actions…and I take full responsibility for what I have done and not done…for what I have said and not said.
I only hope that I can be less judgmental and more loving…more compassionate and less distant.
I feel that so many of my WordPress followers are such good people. The more I read beyond the words of my fellow bloggers, the more I see the need for us to be there for each other. The more I realize that the presence and honesty of my fellow bloggers has sustained me through all of this. Some of you have lived through powerfully, painful moments in time…your courage is amazing. The more I see and listen…the more I know how we have to honor the water crystal in each of us…so the bubble does not burst!
Hummingbird you are free
Hummingbird you fly with a butterfly wing
life water sea
you swam with delight
YOU did your BEST
you fought with all of your might
YOU could not find rest
you were too beautiful for this world
and so I send this prayer
Ocean of Water bubbles impearled
cleanse us…purify us if you dare
help us to see each other
help us to listen
help us to love sister and brother
help us to glisten
To go beyond ourselves to each other in need
help us to return to our core
the TRUTH within is the seed
our wealthy store
let us let go of our sins and errors
and freely go to that treasure beneath our skin
water streaming down the river fare
not allowing a backspin
help us to go beyond our grief
and find relief
and do not offend
we are what we think
water cascading down the falls
free expression let us drink
water is part of us all
Water carry us home
Till we are one again
till LOVE becomes our foam
and sorrow has come to an end
- for the most gentle of all souls…Susan McIntyre…Hummingbird (johannisthinking.com)