The first line of her last post read The final day.
My friend had been diagnosed just over a month earlier with a fast-moving terminal cancer and now, she was telling us that this was it. Her last day on this earth.
It had been a horrific month for her. It was clear that shedding her painful body was a release she embraced.
She was one of those bright and gentle souls that make the world better just by drawing breath. Which is why the idea that she does not breathe any longer is so painful. She was, in a word, inspirational.
We’d only met in person once, at a tea given by someone we both know. That woman is long gone, but this one stuck and we established a social media presence in one another’s lives, appreciating each other’s posts and messaging every so often about what resonated.
I had exchanged messages with her just before her shocking diagnosis.
Each year she’d taken on a personal journey. This year her “project” was called The Reinvention Project and its motto was keep the best, reinvent the rest.
She knew we are not static beings. We do not need to hold on to a trait, a position, an opinion. We can learn and grow. Which she did. Constantly. An inspiration.
Shortly after the initial jolt of her announcement, my shock and sadness turned to something else. Acceptance. Of course this was what had to happen. This pure soul had been an angel on earth and now was being called home. She belonged on the other side. It was the next step in her project.
And yet I wasn’t done knowing her. I wanted to read more of her writing. See more of her beautiful photographs. Exchange more messages. Maybe have a cup of tea together when Covid becomes a distant memory.
I was not ready for her to go. But her place on the other side had been made ready for her. And, now, she was ready to go.
When I think of her today I smile with wonder: she now knows the secrets of the Universe. Of what happens when this life is over. How amazing would that be?
I’ll never forget the last line of her last post:
And in one last twist of fate, I am reinventing myself again.
Her grace will stay with me the rest of my own life. I hope to see her when it’s my turn to cross the veil.
And at night, when I look up at the stars, I’ll look for the one that shines the brightest, that sends out the most gentle, accepting energy…..and know that it’s her.
Toni, you are missed.
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