This blog is not going to begin quite the way I anticipated.
I wanted my first blog entry to be my announcement as a new grief counselor setting up practice in Northern New Mexico. I planned to write about my training as a pastoral counselor and my experience working with parents, children, spouses, friends, and partners who have been through various types of loss from death to divorce to pets to job loss to empty nests. I wanted to present my credentials in the most professional manner possible.
Then my friend K died. Today. K, who was one who walked with me as both of us recovered from profound losses we each experienced several years ago. K, who had rebuilt her life from the fragments of grief, found new joy, new love, and new purpose after years of struggle. K, who was an active agent in new ventures and a new life, literally about to move to a new town and into a new house with her husband.
She became ill suddenly last week. Instead of packing to move to their house, she was in the ICU undergoing brain scans and lifesaving measures. There were prayer and healing circles for her in every community she had touched in her too-brief four decades. We all posted words of encouragement to her husband and family. We waited for updates and cheered every fragment of slightly encouraging news, although those who had medical knowledge quietly told the rest of us that things might not be moving in the direction we all hoped and prayed.
This afternoon life support measures were removed. Within a short time she passed quietly and, we hope, gently into whatever condition consciousness passes when a body can no longer sustain life.
Once again a husband, parents, siblings, children, and friends will ask why. Some will turn to their faith, Christian and otherwise, and the practices of worship and prayer that sustain them in difficult times. Some will challenge and demand to know why God or an uncaring Universe could let this happen to so vibrant a woman, one who had been through so much and supported so many with her deeply understanding heart . How can her wisdom and humor be gone so soon?
Do I have the answers? Blessedly no, and shame on me if I ever pretend that I do. I do hope to explore the questions raised by grief and loss with my face-to-face clients as they navigate their respective journeys through darkness and change, as well as any who choose to follow my blog here.
Rest, my friend K. May your memory be Eternal.