I met a friend for breakfast. Her mother had been a dear, dear friend from our college days until her death. One of the loveliest gifts she gave me was her family and we still keep in touch. As Dawn and I got caught up over tea and coffee she asked how I was doing. I’d recently lost another dear friend and two days later, another woman who’d been a spiritual mentor to me. Grief has me in its grip.
One thing I’ve experienced with grief is that it brings up older losses. Although Jan has been gone for years now, the feelings spring both fresh in this new grieving time. It all pretty much merges together. So we talked about friendship and loss, and reminisced about her mom and dad.
Loss and grief is the price of love. Oh, how it hurts. But oh, how it’s worth it. We talked of that as well. Hesitantly, she asks me, “Did you get a card in the mail from me?” I hadn’t. She was. a bit frustrated with her post office branch. She’d had other mail go astray lately as well. I promised I’d let her know when it came. It came yesterday. A hand made card wishing me recovery from an illness I'd had a week ago.
She’s her mother’s daughter. Creative and thoughtful, and as a nod to our mutual connection, the coffee cup was made from a scrap of a painting that had Jan’s signature on it.
It warms my heart. People we love are never really gone. They leave loving reminders to us everywhere. And I am grateful.
Donna Kemper put aside her art career to care for a mother she hadn't seen in over a decade. For seven years she followed her mother's journey into dementia, caring for her and putting forgiveness into action.