But that didn't make the finality of her passing any less painful. I was away all day and when I got home my oldest son told me of her passing, he knew her well also, her children, my children...we are all intertwined. After he told me I did what we all do nowadays, I went on Facebook and read hundreds of posts. Then my younger son called....a mom died. Someone's mom that he knew very well. Children his same age...a mom his mother's age. Mortality is real.
I read the condolences, all written for a life well lived. This could have happened to any of us. We all know that.....Her last blog post was simply profound, she explained death in a way I had never thought of before. Although it didn't lessen our loss, it was a balm of Gilead, and so poignant that it came from her. I am going to print that last blog to put on my desk. I am grateful I knew her, and knew her well. We worked on articles together, she critiqued my writing, encouraged me to continue...to write!! We spoke of precious things, sacred things. She shared some of her deepest heartaches with me as we traveled a similar road for a while. We spoke more than once how grateful we were "in it together" so to say. To have someone truly understand a difficult path is a gift, and we both felt it.
I will miss her, but so, so many will miss her. Hers, was truly, a life well lived.
But then something else occurred. Something completely unexpected....I am member of a group of women on Facebook called "The Women of Midlife". It is a group of amazingly talented women who write, market, publish, troubleshoot and support. I love to write and this group gives me permission to write and fail, to write and succeed. To laugh with me, cry with me, pout, get angry or simply just throw things. I am intimidated to no end by these women because they are what my daddy would call, "real writers.....you know the ones who get published." And I am...well, not published. But it doesn't matter, they still let me sit at the big kids table and talk about self-publishing, and book tours and being on TV and radio...and the internet. I love reading about their agents and dead raccoons, being on TV with people I have actually heard of. So tonight when one of these "real writers" said she was going to write a book I had to post about my friend Michele....
This is what I wrote.....
"After Lisa just posted she intended to write a book I knew I had to write to all of you. A dear friend of mine died today. A vibrant author, mother of 5, grandmother to lots and friend to all. She was a writer of books, magazines, articles and music. She chronicled her illness through her blog for the past couple of years. Her last post was Saturday, she wasn't bitter about dying, but very sad to leave her family. If she was writing to you right now she would tell you to write, write that book, article, essay, whatever...but write!! We all have goals hidden down under our angst, or tucked away from our confidence. You can sit for an hour every day and put your words down. You can!! If you can work out for an hour, or blow up Facebook for an hour, or text or shop or watch TV you can spend an hour writing. My friend left behind a great deal of work, an amazing legacy which leads me to wonder if I will achieve my goals, or just talk about them?"
Here is the amazing part, I immediately recievied an outpouring of love from so many of the women....so many! Such beautiful sentiments and cyber hugs....Michele's death was personal to me....but by way of the nexus of friendship her death touched women she never knew.
It's called the Ripple effect...
"The Ripple effect is based on the understanding that we are all connected. These connections stretch like an incredibly interwoven and complicated tapestry. Each of us exists within this tapestry. Thoughts and actions are like stones dropped in a pond and they create ripples that travel outward." (http://humanityhealing.org/who-we-are/the-ripple-effect/)
We are all connected, whether we want to admit that or not.....I am connected to Michele and in a Facebook post I connected her to other women and they accepted the connection....
I have put a note on my computer, "an hour for Michele"......I will write an hour a day for her. It doesn't have to be profound...it just has to be an hour.
To my close friends who are sad at Michele's passing, we were so blessed!! And that will never go away.
Ponder the ripple effect, because no matter how quiet you think you are living your life, you are creating ripples....we are all much bigger than we realize.
We just need to know one thing, where are your ripples heading?
In memory of Michele Garvin...her legacy is long.