Thursday, November 12, 2015

How to Turn Darkness Into Light

Zestful Blog Post #132

This post is to honor two friends recently lost to cancer, Jeanne Bates Smith and Sandra Moran Pletcher. It’s also in honor of you, my reader, and yes, my friend.

Here’s the whole of it. When a marvelous human being too soon leaves the building for good, we grieve hard. Then we have to figure out what to do next. If we lose our joy, that’s letting cancer—or whatever disease or disaster—win. If we focus on disbelief, if we keep insisting things ought to be the way they were before, that’s making that person as gone as can be. It’s giving death everything.

To change darkness into light:

When you do your best work, smile, because she’s right there with you, because she did her best work.

When you speak and behave honestly and kindly, feel happy, because she did so.

When you make an effort to understand—to really extend yourself—be joyful, because she did so.

When you do anything your beloved person did, with integrity and a true heart, laugh, because she or he is there with you.

When you
act like a goof;
taste/smell/touch/hear/see something that person liked;
get out for a walk or a jog or a swim;
create something for the hell of it;
make a mistake (yes, of course);
try to fix something;
be joyful, because.

I said to Marcia the other night as we grieved our friends, “I guess the pie of life is like this: half work, half love, and half chocolate.” Don’t start with me about math.

Time gets us all. But it can’t steal our joy. So do the work now. Give more love now. And don’t forget the chocolate.

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  1. Deeply sorry for your loss. Losing a friend is a terrible thing. Remembering one this way, though, is wonderful.

  2. Hey Jessica, thank you. I know you know what it's like...

  3. I didn't get the pleasure of meeting Sandra, only on Facebook, but she was such a delight. I described her to my wife as one of the nicest people on FB. Smart, funny, no drama. Her death brought back so many painful memories of a friend lost at age 37. Anything under 90 is just too young! Your post is spot on. I had found myself doing little things she did--like riffling the pages of a book. I'd stop and smile to think of her.

  4. Agree 200%. Your math seemed fine to me. And pass the chocolates.

  5. Elaine and Baxter, thanks for stopping in. It's good to be together at a time like this.

  6. Your pie of life analogy was perfect. Sandra was really into pie charts. And pie. You were spot on with this blog. Thanks for your wonderful insights. I was lucky enough to have counted Sandra as a friend.

  7. BJ, thanks for coming by and sharing your thoughts. Yeah, I see no reason life can't be half work, half love, and half chocolate. So far nobody's arguing with me. Thank you, world.


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