I received an inimitable email from dear Sharon today
“I am sitting in the airport in Stockholm waiting for my sister’s plane. No sleep all night, and now we must drive 5 hours in the pouring rain to get to our destination. Ugh!
One thought occurred to me by surprise. It sounds terrible, but it keeps coming back to me. In a way, you are fortunate to miss her so much. That pain is a function of what you had for so long. You had a rare and wonderful relationship with a rare and wonderful person. Few have that experience. Hardly anyone. You are different from her and exactly like her. Marg and Nev, Nev and Marg… Olympic pairs skating champions. And you are still skating, but your pair is gone. No wonder you are falling.
Oh, and this business of getting over it is not worth another thought. That is not the goal. Not now or ever. She will always be there. The heavy, black empty, scary pain will change to a different sort, but it will not go away. The idea will be to continue to be generous with your presence in the lives of others – and you will. They are lucky to have you.
I wish I were closer.”
How perceptive can you be? With tears in my eyes I responded.
“The words in your email sent an affirmative tear running down my cheek. Your bit about the ballet dancers keeps coming back to me with deep delight and comfort – comfort being used in its strict sense of “with strength”. I remember watching for hours the beauty and wonder of the Olympic pairs skating – the wonder being how two people could be so in touch with each other.
As for your “terrible thought” that I am fortunate to miss her so much, I wholeheartedly agree. Gratitude really is what it is all about. And, as you and Bonhoeffer so pertinently state, it isn’t a case of “getting over it”. Marg is and will always be around.
Love, Peace and Gratitude