On losing a friend

I lost a dear friend yesterday. Someone I was close to. My life changed. I can’t just go on as if nothing happened, add post my usual Monday Morning Coffee, I need to honor my friend. I wasn’t at his bedside when he passed, but my friend Robin Pacific, knowing nothing of the pain I waS suffering posted this on FB, and d it helped me take time to grieve. And that is what I must do.

“When someone dies, the first thing to do is nothing. Don’t run out and call the nurse. Don’t pick up the phone. Take a deep breath and be present to the magnitude of the moment. 

There’s a grace to being at the bedside of someone you love as they make their transition out of this world. At the moment they take their last breath, there’s an incredible sacredness in the space. The veil between the worlds opens.

We’re so unprepared and untrained in how to deal with death that sometimes a kind of panic response kicks in. “They’re dead!” 

We knew they were going to die, so their being dead is not a surprise. It’s not a problem to be solved. It’s very sad, but it’s not cause to panic.

If anything, their death is cause to take a deep breath, to stop, and be really present to what’s happening. If you’re at home, maybe put on the kettle and make a cup of tea.

Sit at the bedside and just be present to the experience in the room. What’s happening for you? What might be happening for them? What other presences are here that might be supporting them on their way? Tune into all the beauty and magic. 

Pausing gives your soul a chance to adjust, because no matter how prepared we are, a death is still a shock. If we kick right into “do” mode, and call 911, or call the hospice, we never get a chance to absorb the enormity of the event.

Give yourself five minutes or 10 minutes, or 15 minutes just to be. You’ll never get that time back again if you don’t take it now.

After that, do the smallest thing you can. Call the one person who needs to be called. Engage whatever systems need to be engaged, but engage them at the very most minimal level. Move really, really, really, slowly, because this is a period where it’s easy for body and soul to get separated.

Our bodies can gallop forwards, but sometimes our souls haven’t caught up. If you have an opportunity to be quiet and be present, take it. Accept and acclimatize and adjust to what’s happening. Then, as the train starts rolling, and all the things that happen after a death kick in, you’ll be better prepared.

You won’t get a chance to catch your breath later on. You need to do it now. 

Being present in the moments after death is an incredible gift to yourself, it’s a gift to the people you’re with, and it’s a gift to the person who’s just died. They’re just a hair’s breath away. They’re just starting their new journey in the world without a body. If you keep a calm space around their body, and in the room, they’re launched in a more beautiful way. It’s a service to both sides of the veil.”

I need time to process, so I won’t be responding to comments on this one.

19 thoughts on “On losing a friend

  1. No response necessary. Please accept my condolences on your loss. And thank you for reposting these profound thoughts from another of your extraordinary friends. Peace to you

  2. As someone who recently lost my spouse of 42 years and who was present, sitting at his bedside when he took his last breath, I am so grateful for the above words. I knew to do this, just to sit with him, talk to him, smile and cry and just hold his hand while hoping his passage would be gentle and peaceful and relieved at knowing that for him the pain was finally over. Take care of yourself, and I am so, so terribly sorry for your loss.

  3. Kate, so sorry for you loss. Thank you for sharing, and for sharing the very powerful post; an opportunity to reflect

  4. I thank you, dear Kate, as I trust many of us do, for your most beautiful & healing writing. I lost a dear friend 2 weeks ago, & your sharing has brought me comfort.

    All Blessings your way ~☆~

  5. You do so much for the community; I hope you feel the community embracing you with love.
    Deepest condolences for your loss.
    Stan Smith

  6. Kate, I’m so sorry to hear of your loss. Do what you need to do to take care of yourself…right now that is more important than anything else.

  7. No responses necessary! These are beautiful words to be shared and I’m grateful to read them. I agree, take that time to just “be” as it will never come again. My heart goes out to you for your loss oxoxoxo

  8. The truths you have described so well capture perfectly my own experiences with family and friends on the occasions of their deaths. Beautiful, sad and so necessary. I thank you for writing and honoring your friend.

  9. My deepest heartfelt condolences go out to you and your friends family and closest friends. Hugs!

  10. I am right here taking a breath beside you, Kate. With love. Abundant gratitude to Robin for a the most profound sharing about creating sacred space within the dark/light penumbra as life ceases . . . and then moves onward.

  11. Kate, I’m so sorry for your loss. You are blessed to have a friend like Robin. Her words are profound. Life-changing. Please take care of yourself. You’re in our thoughts.

  12. Thank you for your sincere feelings. I’m still not through grieving for my love after 58 years of marriage. One year 9 months & still feel his presence💜

  13. Praise Be,, for our departed loved one’s, ever~lasting Presence in our lives, & available to us, much more than we know ~☆~

    Thank you dear Kate, for opening us all up to the sacred dialogue shared today. It must speak, to the awesome nature of your special connection with Robin. 🙏

  14. Please know that you are loved. I’m glad you are taking the time to mourn your loss. Such beautiful words from your friend Robin.

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