Early this week I knew something was off in my world. My mentor & friend Sr. Helene didn’t answer when I called & didn’t return my call as usual. I couldn’t stop crying or stop thinking about her Tuesday morning, so I made some calls. By 10 am I got word that she was unresponsive and not expected to live long. Well, she held out for the vigil of the Assumption of Mary. That’s just so like her! Life & death by Feast Days!
Thankfully she is at peace, but I am not! I don’t know why this has hit me so hard, but it has & I’m totally out of sorts. I’ve been dealing a lot with suffering, death, and big changes in the last several years, so maybe I’m just on overload. Maybe I’m thinking of my own mortality. Maybe I am just tired of losing friends & family. Maybe it’s because she is so far away, & I can’t go to her funeral. Maybe I’m human & I just hurt.
My mother once told me, “Your relationship with your father hasn’t ended just because he died. It’s just changed.” I believe that. Every time I cut up fruits & vegetables in my hands instead of on the cutting board, I hear my dad yelling at me to stop, & I yell back “I know! I know! I’m fine! Stop worrying, I’m not gonna cut myself!” Twelve years later I still say goodnight to him before I turn out the lights.
I had a special bond with Sr. Helene & I don’t think I’ll ever have that again with anyone else. Special relationships are a blessing, and I will miss her deeply. When I begin to truly let go & begin the healing process I will be back to blogging about peace & justice for people, plants, animals, & the world. For now, I need some time to be sad, a little selfish, mournful, and a bit contemplative. I think St. Dominic would grant me that dispensation.