loss & love

Tommy died of old age, and that’s the way it’s supposed to be. We’re supposed to be okay with that.

The problem with old age is that you’ve been around long enough to really affect people when you leave. If one of the newborn bunnies had died, it would be sad, but I had a relationship with Tommy. The bunnies don’t even have names yet.

Tommy was loud, tired, gentle and very attached to Hazel. You remember Hazel? The sheep that the little boy who grew up to be a med student called about? That’s what happens when you stick around. You touch people. You affect them. And they miss you when you leave.

Tommy was my inspiration for volunteering at Green Chimneys’. He was the sheep that sealed the deal. I wanted to be there for the seniors, to make their lives a little easier. It was an honor to be take special care of that old guy.

jodi sh doff : onlythejodi : loss and love : phoebe He left behind a stall full of grieving old lady sheeps. Hazel and Phoebe walk over and placing their heads in my hands for me to do that voodoo that I do so well. Laverne keeps her distance. There’s something about accepting one’s frailties that allows you to open your heart to comfort from others. Laverne is just not there yet. Me neither. We’re both working on that.

A friend, a human friend, was diagnosed with inoperable cancer recently and I’ve been watching myself avoid visiting. My friend is dying of old age, and that’s the way it’s supposed to be, except I want to fix him. If I can’t, I don’t want to be there.  I’m in training to be an end-of-life companion, a doula for the dying.  It’s one thing to think about starting that work with someone I’ve never met. Or working with animals that are passing, but a friend?  A friend is a horse of a different color entirely.

3 thoughts on “loss & love

  1. Jodi, being there in the little moments, providing the little comforts to those that are entering into their transition- that is one of the greatest gifts you can offer to them. It is the act of taking a moment from your life, sharing it with someone or some being who’s time is short- that is what eases their journey. The caring that is offered, the love, the compassion and the understanding. The gift is not in the physical cure but in the emotional and spiritual healing that is offered by bearing witness and by being an assistant as another passes over. You know this already. That is why you were drawn to Tommy and why you are in Doula training. The final gift is often the most difficult for us to execute but it is just so universally important because it isn’t about us- it’s about the Tommy’s and the friends who need to make that journey and need a friend to walk with them for a time. I’m sorry to hear of Tommy’s passing. He saw you safely and firmly on this path and now he can move on to his next adventure. Blessings to you, to Tommy and to your friend.

  2. PS. It’s OK not to be OK with it all. Feeling that way doesn’t diminish the gift of seeing another safely to the river’s edge

  3. Editor’s Note: A Facebook friend sent me a link to “Friends In Deed”. A free crisis center in Soho. Lovely people who are there for you if you have been diagnosed with a life limiting illness like HIV or cancer – as well for the caregivers and bereaved. They meet six times a week, so for sure, one or two of the meetings would fit into anyone’s schedule.

    Here’s the website : http://www.friendsindeed.org/

    And the rest of the important info:
    Friends In Deed, Inc.
    594 Broadway, Suite 706
    New York, NY 10012

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