Beverly M. is a very kind soul, with a quick wit and bubbly sense of humor. She enjoyed reading and loved her family most of all. She is one of those people where it feels like I've known her my whole life, but in reality, I've only known her for 6 years.
I am going to miss her willingness to listen, her kindness, her giggle, but most of all her knowledge. She was my mentor of sorts. She helped me start in the part-time job I am currently working. She helped me navigate the bookkeeping system, and office workflow. She had collected a lifetime of bookkeeping knowledge and practical life experience and shared that with me as needed. In the beginning, she sat next to me, to figuratively hold my hand through the learning process, and stayed with me as my 'phone-a-friend' up until the end.
I already miss her for being 'her', but I will also miss her because I feel like I am alone without a safety net. She will no longer be there to answer my questions, or give me moral support to help me through the next quandary. I feel a bit of panic inside because I don't have her to fall back on when the next question arises. I feel like I am approaching my work, very much alone. Like I am in a free-fall.
This scary, sickening feeling is one I've had before. That lost feeling occurred a few years back when another friend and mentor had suddenly passed away. Juliet was so kind, and sweet, and caring. It still feels a bit like a stab in the heart to think she was taken so swiftly. I didn't know she was critical, nor did I get to say good-bye. Juliet was like a life-buoy for me, and to others in the Grand Rapids area. She led a Homeopathic Study Group and was a figurative giant in the La Leche League community. She was the one I would call when, as a new mother, my son would spike a fever late at night I didn't know what to do. She had such a soothing voice and demeanor, and always guided me to the right course of action. I still feel that slight panic when I am facing an emergency. I feel gripped inside with the realization that I can't reach out to her for advice or help. And she isn't in some state of waiting to spring into action when I call.
When I analyze our friendships, beyond who they were personally, I'd say both of those women held iconic roles for me or were archetypes. They were caring, nurturing, informative, and guiding. They were both 'mother' figures in a sense. "The archetypal mother figure is loving and supporting. They are the rock the Hero can fall back on when needed."
I guess I need to work through those losses and come to the realization that I have the power and the ability to hear the inner voice, and ask the right questions, to find out the information for myself. I am the 'hero' of my own story, and I need to deal with how to handle the questions that arise without their direction. I need to somehow internalize that support as needed. If I listen quietly, I can hear Beverly's way of asking the right questions in a calm way, and untangling the mess of things like unraveling a tangled ball of yarn. She had that power to step back and talk herself through a situation. I need to ask myself "WWBD" (What would Beverly do?) And likewise, when I am in a medical situation, I can hear Juliet's gentle, empathetic sigh, and her voice in my mind asking questions. I always ask myself WWJD (What would Juliet do?).
I still grapple with existential questions of how one person can be here one moment, and not the next? How can they have space and a life and then be gone? My faith tells me, they are just gone from view, but not from spirit. I believe their spirit or soul is released from the constraints of the body but now can operate on a larger plan with the Will of God or the Universe. I also have faith that when help is needed, I just need to ask. I have to remember that.
Of course, it is easiest to get my help from a person in the flesh. It is preferable to make a call and hear a reassuring voice on the end of the line. That is why I am SO GRATEFUL for all the times Bevely and Juliet have been a life-line to me. It is an honor to have known and loved each of them, the short time we had together. I appreciate all their support. They did what they knew and loved, and shared that with me. I am thankful their words and phrases still echo in my mind. Now, rather than being a voice on the phone, they are like angels over my shoulders.
Thank you Beverly, and thank you Juliet, may flights of angels lead you on your way! And my condolences to your families and the ones who love and miss you.
I hope to continue your work and make you proud. Maybe one day I can be a calming voice of assurance in someone else's mind.
I'm working on it.