To a passer-by catching a snippet of our conversation that day, it might have sounded like a meeting of the minds between two of the dearest of friends, given the gravity and intensity of our discussion. We are friends, but not close ones: she, another mum from school who has been given, like so many, an approximate date to leave her precious life.

‘Why do we need to see death before we actually choose to really start living?’ she asked, in a chatty and almost jovial way.

As I sat with her, listening to her talk and watching her tender tears roll rhythmically down her face, I felt this tremendous sense of privilege and awe and a kind of almighty respect for the extraordinary honesty with which she spoke. And I wondered why, as a rule, we (as in all of us) don’t allow ourselves, or each other, the opportunity to speak and share more freely. That is, until we feel we finally have nothing left to lose.

She wanted to talk about exploring, creatively and beautifully, ways to leave stories, items, advice, or videos, for her girls.  She wanted to share the prickly, stinging feelings when imagining someone else mothering her children. That’s what she wanted to talk about.

And yet here she was with me, an acquaintance, breathing in the opportunity, between tears and laughter, to dive into the conversations, that for many of us, particularly the ones who’s premature fear, pain and love, make it too unbearable to utter.

This little post is about encouraging a willingness to step over our desperate need to protect ourselves, as we undermine and muffle  what could be a life a changing conversation and a legacy of love left behind.

Nothing but love …

 

  • http://twitter.com/crixacus Daniel

    Excellent. I agree – and as a lifelong introvert have taken up the challenge of being much more open with other people. Faring well, and it’s amazing what you can learn from someone for just even the briefest of connections in conversation.

    Anyway – I saw your post just now on Facebook and it reminded that I dreamt last night of Mr. J.C. and your little one Jesse – not entirely sure where it came from, but it was a nice dream – all I remember now is that I had to meet Jai on a train, which I did – and he was very nice (very reserved too) and then he introduced me to your little one, who was just beaming away – I don’t think he said anything, but he was definitely smiling from ear to ear, not because of me but just because he was smiling.

    Whether or not the dream meant anything is not really important, but I just wanted to share it. You lot are always on my heart and so never far from my mind. I wish you a good farwell to summer and hope the autumn brings more warmth in your lives than cold winds on your faces.

    Respectfully yours,

    x

  • Rivke

    I am very open and upfront, I say things and people are just gob-smacked. Nothing is taboo for me. Ive always felt that saying what I think, believe, feelis the best policy for who I am but I understand this is not everyone’s policy. My friends and family know that if they need the truth about something Im the one you go to, to hear it just how it is.

    In saying that my deep matters of the heart I do not speak a word of. I make jokes or change the subject, avoid avoid avoid. Ive always had issues with the deepest of emotions. My parents thought I was Autistic as a child because of my need to withdraw from intimacy, I didnt like being held as a baby. My nickname as I got older was the Ice Queen, cold, rational, logical. I think for me I got to a point where it was so expected that I would be controlled that I felt maybe it was a weakness showing the deepest part of my soul. Now it is a reflex and rarely and vaguely will I say something that is of the deepest part of who I am.

    I think we live in a world where we worry a lot about how the other person will respond and handle what we say, because so many people dont know how to respond to fear, pain, doubt, sadness, even happiness, joy. We spend so much time saying what we think we should say rather than what we want to say.

    Anyways thats enough from me. :P

    Wonder words as always, given me some great food for though and something to reflect on.
    Blessed Be!

  • Penny Douglas

    Yesterday, I was talking to my Sister about these very things. We attended the Funeral yesterday of her son Adam’s best friend, Mr. Bobby, who was a very kind and good man. They were always spending alot of time doing things they enjoyed, like fishing and cooking, etc. Adam is a very quiet, reserved young man, who doesn’t show emotion or talk about his feelings at all. You have to pry it out of him basically, and even then he doesn’t talk alot. I was sitting next to him yesterday and the hurt and pain he was feeling, I felt it so strong. He would rather hold it all in than try to talk about it, and I know that is a very unhealthy thing to do. Everyone processes grief and loss in different ways, but I have found during my life that if I could find someone to talk about it with, it made it easier. Many are not willing to take the time to listen, to be a shoulder to lean on, and I think that is why many are scared to open up. Watching my nephew yesterday, how much pain I could feel he was in, and saying that I loved him and was here for him, if he needed me, and gave him a hug, was all that I could do. His wife said he went fishing yesterday after the funeral, and I know he went to sit out on the water, to think about the loss he had just experienced. Vashti you are so right, about this post you made. Why is that people don’t want to talk about life, death, as it is part of our journey. Thank you for this beautiful post, as it is exactly what I was talking about yesterday and it makes so much sense. Much love, Penny <3

    • Stephen

      Hi Penny, This is quite moving.
      Sounds like a great opportunity for your nephew

      Hugs,
      Stephen

      • Penny Douglas

        Thank you Stephen.

  • Susan_Mangan

    Gorgeous post Vashti. I am also an introvert and for a long time found it very difficult to talk to anybody about my feelings. But when i got the courage to travel the world on my own i found great connections with people i had just met and have had some amazing conversations with people only to ask them their name at the end of it!! I think that sometimes we feel a great need to be strong with those we love and as such go to great lengths to hide any feelings we would deem as “weak”. Which is why sometimes the comfort of strangers can be a good starting point for coming out of our shells. I know it worked for me.
    thx Vashti – much love to ya x

  • Elena Ferro

    What a hard thing… to know when you are passing… I can’t imagine such a thing in myself , although I have unfortunately lived recently with some friends, whose story reminded me of yours with Andy : my friend Pablo has died after struggling for two years against a pancreatic cancer , and he won , but unfortunately the chemo played a trick . In the end, he died for intestinal virus … very sad , but true. His wife , Ana, a fantastic person, always with a smile on his face, never a bad gesture, never a pouting … Pablo knew that he was going to die , and was totally resigned to it . He said “why do you get sad? THIS is what has touched to me and there is no more to think about , do not worry .” And Ana always says that she is gratefull of the way that they have lived all these years with his Paul, since she met him at 14 years old. They both enjoyed life , spoke very much , they loved so much each other… They both are admirable. Now , she has to go on with their two daughters, ages 8 and 6, and of course their friends will always be there to help them. Ana is a clear example of what is to speak very clearly and openly whatsoever. I admire you, Ana and Pablo!

    Vashty, give to your friend a big, big, enormous hug!!!

  • Sally T.

    There’s that little f-word again. Fear is likely what makes these walls higher than they need to be. Staring down our own mortality is probably what most of us are most afraid of and in the face of that mammoth challenge, I imagine it would seem like there really isn’t anything left to lose. The takeaway for me here was that we ALL have an expiry date. Some of us just don’t know ours. So what do any of us have to lose?

  • Stephen

    Hi Vashti, Truly a message that is heart-wrenching. I’m at a loss for words. To think of your final days…
    I hope this mum that you were talking to finds the words and means to leave her legacy to her children and family. So sad to hear. A lesson to all of us.

    With deepest sympathies,
    Stephen
    #BeHereNow

    • Maybe McQueen

      Sympathy, sadness, sorrow….. if I were her, to be honest, as that’s what this post is about, I would want NONE of it. I understand your kindness and it is a beautiful quality. But if I were my friend or in fact how it was for Andy and myself, what I would have wanted more of is…..
      ….The space to embrace what is in front of me, the listening to talk about the special things in my life, the laughter to giggle at all the moronic things I did and that I want to share, enabling others/you to cry and pee their pants at the same time, thinking of how funny I was and in fact at….. The opportunity to connect on a deep level with others/you, without you giving it the meaning, that in fact only relates to your feelings and fear alone….

      Please don’t be offended by my abruptness, as it is said with nothing other than a commitment to living, loving and learning as much as possible. However if this post were to inspire one thing, it was to connect with my friend and to not speak of her, or those who are travelling on at some point soon, as if she had already gone. It was to inspire you to think about your lives and what you would love to share about yourself if it were your time AND to maybe, just maybe explore the idea, that this is an incredible part of life, does NOT just have to be filled with sympathy, sadness and sorrow.

      Nothing but love

      • Stephen

        Thank you for responding. I’m not offended. Always I appreciate what you share with us, in your personal experiences. I enjoy and treasure your experiences on the same type of journey that this mum is going through, and I can’t wait to see Be Here Now documentary. Another idea comes to mind is perhaps one day you will write a book about your experiences that all of us could read about, learn, and inspire about that most traumatic time of your life.

        Reading your posts always inspires me. I love how you give us the precious gift of your experiences and photos of past and present.
        Nothing but love
        Stephen
        #BeHereNow

  • Kristin

    this reminded me of your post…hope it shows up! All the best.

    • Kristin

      ok..so copy/paste does not work in this instance. ;0
      A quote…author unknown.
      I have the deepest affection for intellectual conversations.
      The ability to just sit and talk. About love, about life, about anything,
      about everything. To sit under the moon with all the time in the world, the full-speed train that is our lives slowing to a crawl. Bound by no obligations, barred by no human limitations. To speak without regret or fear of consequence. To talk for hours about what’s really important in life.