I say it quite often, life changes in an instant. And it does. Like yesterday.
Let me back up…. a few years ago I had an unusual friendship arise. Bill, an older gentleman in his late sixties, attended a spiritual/meditation group I lead. He was new to the concepts of metaphysics and spirituality and I found his newfound interest a delight. He was an enthusiastic student. Bill, like many people I meet in the group, was dealing with a big transition in his life, in his case, a pending divorce. He was grieving. Lonely. Looking for answers about daily human life, and the afterlife.
After attending my group for a few months he wrote me a letter. In it, he said he’d like to be my friend. I was both touched and amazed. What guts it took for a grown man to write a letter to a grown woman, offering friendship. In a heartwarming way he said he wasn’t sure what he could offer in return, but he was pretty handy around the house. He was clear he wasn’t trying to date me (he’s a bit older than I), he didn’t want to get freebies on my spiritual teaching, he just wanted be a friend. I was impressed by his willingness to take a risk. Put his heart on the line.
So I took him up on his offer. I first called him over to help me with a rickety table, which he fixed. Then, we met for lunch at a little Italian restaurant. He came over to have dinner with my daughter and I. He drove me numerous times to and from the airport while I visited my boyfriend. He took me to a really cool Halloween show in Annapolis, MD. He came to see me in a play or two. We went to spiritual and metaphysical classes and events together where we soaked up teachings of Louise Hay, Iyanla VanZant, Bruce Lipton, Wayne Dyer and many more. And loyally, he came to my monthly gathering for spiritual seekers. Regularly, I called to check in on him and he called to check in on me.
I met Bill just a few months before my father passed away, and Bill reminded me of him. My Dad and I used to check up on one another, by phone, just to see how we were doing. My dad always had a little joke, Bill liked to give you a saying or old adage. That is what I will miss most, checking up on one another. You see, a few days ago I called him and didn’t get an answer. I knew something was up. And sure enough, my friend Bill, unexpectedly, had died in his house. Life changes in an instant.
When I met Bill, he was a bit lonely and sad, although he put a smile on his face, he would sometimes tear up or weep. Loss. The separation with his wife was hard on him. Regrets. He felt he could have been a better father. The normal human things. He talked. I listened. I lent him my books on spirituality and healing. Return to Love. Spiritual Divorce. Why People Don’t Heal and How They Can. He loved them. He was learning so much and seemed to really be finding peace, while still hungering for connection and purpose.
One day last summer Bill called me and told me a story. He said he was standing in his living room and felt like something was different. He looked around and figured it out. He was happy. For the first time in a long time, he was simply happy. Maybe the books helped. Maybe the friendship did too. He was finally feeling happy.
I figure Bill is really happy now. He’s with his sister and parents, and the two dogs that were his constant companions. He’s flying planes again, something his old eyes on earth prevented him from doing. He’s not lonely anymore because so many people who love him are there with him. I imagine my Dad shaking hands with him to say thanks for calling and checking on me.
Yup. Life changes in an instant. Last week he sat in our meditation circle and shared a Mark Twain quote about holding a cat by it’s tail. He pondered what he could do to improve his health. He showed up and supported others in their dreams and troubles. We hugged on his way in and his way out.
Then, I called to check up on him but no answer. He’s not in his house anymore, but in his home. For, life changes in an instant.
I lost a friend, but I cherish and keep the memories of our friendship. To a courageous man, who was willing to reach out and ask for friendship. Rest in peace Bill Bree. I love you. Thanks for the friendship.
A man who carries a cat by the tail learns something he can learn in no other way.