Friends in unusual places
This time last week I was sitting by my Mother’s bedside reading. It is a lonely job sitting on a sofa in a big room on ones own not knowing whether the patient will wake up, or not, and what will happen.
I looked at the seat next to me, the empty seat and wondered who I would like to be sitting there with me in this moment.
The seat, I suppose, is a seat we carry with us throughout our lives – a seat that holds the friend, ghost, partner, creature, or silence with whom we would we like to be sharing this or that moment.
Were I to predict who would be with me on this journey of my mothers death I think I would have been wrong.
Several of the people I expected to offer me support, words, or comfort remained silent. Those I would not necessarily have thought would be there were there. I could have been upset at the silence from those under my umbrella of expectation – but no friendship or acquaintance is based on expectation but acceptance of people being who they are, it wasn’t a personal slight on me, it wasn’t that people didn’t care, it was just who they were and people being who they are is beautiful in itself.
Instead I marvelled at how wrong I had been, and how amazing it was that those that spoke up spoke up despite my (what I perceive) neglect.
I am not sure it is helpful to define friends, that isn’t what I am trying to do for we all fall short for reasons that we never understand, just that friends are in extraordinary places.
One friend told me to leave work and go and sit with Mum ( a direction they felt was bold but I considered to be exactly the right thing to say to my hair tearing out indecision that all the Bones household seem to have inherited), another told me about their experiences which helped me see things clearly, and someone I don’t even know told me to go as they had not and regretted it (thank you). When I awoke in the middle of the night I noticed a message from someone about poetry. It may have seemed abstract but the still voice in the night meant something. Throughout this experience I have had messages of comfort and when my mother finally died I was swept up in a tidal wave of comments.
I haven’t lost my Mum (I know where she is) and I haven’t lost a relationship with my Mum (The one we had will live with me) nor have a lost a part of me. Yes, the walls have fallen silent, the wind has stilled it’s voice, but I have found something.
I have found friends in extraordinary places and I have found that my heart is a good heart and the whole time that I was by my mothers bedside I was wrapped in Love and Peace. My Mum hasn’t taken anything away in her death, she has left a legacy. It will take a while to get used to it but I intend to keep it.