It’s so easy to distract from what we should not. It’s so easy to turn the page when we, instead, need to take a minute to grieve. My best friend died on my father’s birthday in 1999. She stood up for my wedding and eight months later, gone.
It’s a Saturday morning—the first day in several weeks I have nothing scheduled. In my space at home, on what we call the “lily chair” I open my memory book. I flip through the pages and notice myself at 13 dressed in purple and lace. I’m looking for my Prince guitar pick—the one he kissed and threw at me as I stood astonished at his 1985 Purple Rain concert. Before I get to the page of the pick, I see my friend. Karla is her name. I read the “In Loving Memory” her family wrote.
“Karla died suddenly…. due to another vehicle running through a stop sign. Karla was 27 years old.” Continuing, “Karla was beautiful, intelligent, caring, honest, witty, and sincere.”
Yes, she was.
Normally, I keep turning the page. This morning I stayed inside her memory; inside her sincerity; insider her last moments. I cried. And, wondered: Have I used her life and death justly? Have I fulfilled my promise to her to be happy? Have I learned to live fully in these years since I was struck from behind by a distracted driver? Will Prince’s life of the continual offering of the music inside him inspire me? Will all the moments I’ve been awake for, and even those I have not amount to myself fully and continually offering the music inside me?
I don’t know. I sense I am closer than I’ve been before. Here’s what I do know—we as living souls accumulate. I’m not speaking of the stuff in our homes, cars and lives, but inside our very souls. When we distract—use drugs, get on our phones again and again, turn those pages—we don’t feel. We don’t connect. Eventually we grow numb. We are too full to feel. We are full of an accumulated mass of undigested memories, feelings—most of all, grief.
If even for a moment, we must stay on the page. We must tune in where we are and experience what comes. Notice what we’re thinking. Feel what we are feeling. Grieve what we’ve lost. And, frame what we treasure.
The Soul Reporter