“We bring a deeper commitment to our happiness when we fully understand, that our time left is limited and we really need to make it count.”
-Dr. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross (Life Lessons, 2000)
It was more than a decade ago that I first encountered “Coach”. I was in the locker room of my fitness club and I heard a booming voice from the aisle beside mine, “Princess, are you going to get your butt in the pool or just stand there?” Intrigued, I followed “princess”, (a middle-aged woman) out to the swimming pool and found myself face to face with “coach”. Somehow, I agreed to swim for her the next day.
Coach evolved into one of those friends that forces me to lever myself up. No pretense, no nonsense, and only authentic conversation, Yesterday, with tears in her eyes, Coach shared that she was making a trip to NYC to visit a friend who was dying. Oddly, I envied her a bit. There is something so very real about being with someone during their last stage of life. It’s a shedding of all the nonsense. A time of intense presence. It is often quiet, the need for words replaced with just a knowing. I was reminded of a quote from Dr. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross,
“I say to people who care for people who are dying, if you really love that person and want to help them, be with them when their end comes close. Sit with them – you don’t even have to talk. You don’t have to do anything but really be there with them.”
I wished I had time to give her a book that I had by my side when my own parents were dying, Midwife For Souls.
All day long I thought about how grateful I was to have a handful of “real” authentic friends. Friends that I can talk about what matters most, with no need for small talk. Friends that I can simply text SOS when I need support, and who will walk for miles with me listening to my wonderings. Friends that I would want by my side one day when I graduate from this world. Friends that I hope know, they can always count on me.
“A real friend is one who walks in when the rest of the world walks out.”