Our Sacred Dance
Last week I attended the memorial of a dear friend. She and I were introduced over 30 years ago. We had one of those instant connections. One where no barriers or expectations existed.
Over the years our friendship continued to breed mutual respect and admiration for each other. We recognized each other’s gifts and unique offering, and respected the style in which we navigated and celebrated our own lives.
Though we rarely met just the two of us, we enjoyed sharing in the social activities that brought us together. Periodically we’d have an opportunity to exchange a personal story that both entertained and deepened our connection.
We truly appreciated and cherished each other and our friendship.
Late last Spring my friend pulled me aside to confide she had made a Life altering decision. She had decided to cease treatments for her cancer and Parkinson’s. She was done with those endless doctors appointments and their well meaning advice. She was giving up the battle and the contest to stave off disease and prolong her Life.
She was clear and accepting of her conviction and prepared herself for Life to move forward, however that might look. Although she expressed compassion for her husband’s argument, my friend was unwavering in her decision.
In the ensuing months, her body began a rapid and drastic decline. Like a cruel joke, my friend began to visibly struggle for the words to express herself or the ability to walk to the bathroom.
As this physically beautiful woman began to morph into a shadow of herself, my friend held a steady positive attitude while generously flashing her winning smile.
Will you think me morbid when I tell you that the last 6 months of her Life were the richest and most meaningful of our friendship?
I visited her regularly which gave her husband a short respite from his 24 hour responsibility. He could trust she was in good hands and would slip off to Costco or run a necessary and overdue errand.
I learned to treasure these times together, alone with my friend. We had no where to go and time held us no prisoner. We shared whatever came in the moment, without haste or desire for something else.
Sometimes I would read my book Celebrate! to her and she would offer her thoughts or a story it prompted. She loved the foot massages I gave her. We often would moan in unison at how good it felt, then giggle like a couple of school girls talking about sex.
When a lively jazz tune flooded the living room, she’d smile and follow me bright-eyed, as I danced dramatically around her bed. Never have I danced so joyfully uninhibited, as I did to delight my friend.
We shared uninterrupted and unashamed; our deepest secrets and our soulful desires.
We laughed and we cried. And when verbally expressing herself became too challenging and eventually impossible, we’d hold hands, stare into each other’s eyes, and share peacefully in contemplative silence…
I am so grateful to and for my friend. She demonstrated such grace in embracing the end of her Life. It was during the last journey we shared together- that we transcended our friendship and we were invited to fly!