Friendship, and how life changes in an instant

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.

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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 DivorceWhy 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.

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A man who carries a cat by the tail learns something he can learn in no other way.
Mark Twain

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About Barbara Webber

Retired public relations consultant for world leaders, experts and non profit organizations, now teaching spirituality and metaphysics, conducting workshops/seminars, personal sessions to help people seeking spiritual enrichment in their life. Loves children, theater, dogs, gardening, spending time with loved ones, helping empower people to create their happiest, healthiest life.
This entry was posted in coaching, conscious living, dads, friends, friendship, grief, loss, love, metaphysics, spirit, spirituality, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Friendship, and how life changes in an instant

  1. cafhair says:

    What a beautiful story on how you met Bill. He is an amazing soul. And I can clearly see him enjoying his coming home party that is still going on right now. He is at peace and I hope sometime that he comes to me,you, whomever he would like to use as his vessel to say hi…. Thank you Barbara, you truly are an amazing kindred spirit in my life, and I am grateful. Rest In Peace Bill, I will always remember the full moon a few months back and there were like 20 women, and Bill was the only man. When meditation, message time was over the lights came up and the first person I saw was Bill, he was sitting in the papas an chair and I thought wow Bill looks like a king. Made me giggle, and I’m happy that my last earthly memory is that…..

  2. Madeline says:

    What a lovely piece about Bill. I have not met him but was very touched by your story.Perhaps the healing he had done let his soul move on in peace.

  3. fern blizzard says:

    absolutely lovely. a reminder of how angels do walk the earth disguised as friends. many blessings and light. you both were angels to one another. Fern

  4. Pegi Chesney says:

    Wow what a beautiful piece and a beautiful friendship with someone who will always be looking out for you from the “great above.” Thanks for sharing Barbara.xxx

  5. gary bree says:

    I am Gary Bree, Bill’s brother, although to me and his immediate family, he has always been Denny. For way too long, he and I held personal grudges that prohibited any communication. He was about 6 years older than me, 2 years older than our Sister, Laurie. Perhaps it was his unshakeable belief in that he was the older Brother and that we always needed to listen to Him. I am more than embarrassed to admit that my own immature, self centered being was the main culprit. Even though we did not speak, I was always positive that no matter what type of trouble I might have gotten into, my brother would always being willing to come to my rescue after of course he had mentored me as to how to avoid the situation in the first place 😉 Denny (Bill) had come so far in learning how to be happy with himself, that it is bittersweet, that he has passed on before he could do all the things he wanted to do. For most of his Life, Denny was an atheist, progressing on to being an agnostic, and now finally a Believer. I think that it is poetic that he passed away due to an enlarged heart, because it had bee infused with so much love and respect for Life. I truly believe that he soaring the Heavens with our parents and sister, feasting on being pain free and surrounded by those who love him the most. I will be forever grateful that you helped him on his journey to eternal happiness. Thanks to all of you that helped him feel like he found his happiness

    • So grateful you wrote a response….i have been sad thinking of how I will miss bill..yet I smile when I check in with him n he says..you were right… more love n joy than I imagined..what I wanted to believe is now proven …I know how much he loved each of you and how he wished for happiness for us all

    • I still think of Bill and have his picture on my hallway. I hope your family is doing well. I’m writing in my blog again, hope you enjoy it

  6. gary bree says:

    My brother and I spoke daily and almost without exception, he spoke glowing of his times with you and the group. His children are going through a very difficult time in trying to make arrangements for their father because of the interference of his wife, who should be, as you all would know, the former wife.
    Divorcing her was one of his newly recognized goals to find greater happiness. Sadly, he delayed too long. Oddly, I find myself wanting to call Bill to ask how to best handle the situation. I will miss him everyday for the rest of my days. Please keep his children in thought thoughts and prayers

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