“The hour of departure has arrived, and we go our separate ways, I to die, and you to live. Which of these two is better only God knows.” ~ Socrates
Today, I was prompted to write about the most important day of my life. It was suggested that maybe that day was one when you got married, graduated or gave birth to a child. I spent a few moments brainstorming and came up with a list of about 5 important days. For some reason when I envision this type of piece, I think that it will be one that is joyful and important because of the excitement and inspiration of that day.
I am not sure if this day qualifies but as I looked at the possibilities, something about this day wanted to be shared. It was definitely, if not the most important day of my life, the most cathartic one. I find myself wanting to refer to it as the day as the Trifecta. In horse racing, a trifecta is a bet in which the bettor must predict which horses will finish first, second, and third in exact order. Although not much of a gambler myself, for some reason when I was younger, I had a knack for picking the trifecta. A couple of times I won some good money for my friends. This is just a bit of an aside to the story, but in fact three big things happened on this one day of my life.
So my day began by preparing to go to a court meeting to finalize my divorce. It was not actually at the court but at a lawyer’s office. My relationship of 15 years was over and now all that was seemed left was to meet and sign some papers. I had met my ex-husband when I was 22 in my last year of college. It has been an idyllic relationship in many ways and a chaotic one in many others. The divorce was somewhat obscured by other losses that had happened around that time ~ the death of my mother, as well as the tragic deaths of not one but two of my ex-husband’s cousins, who had been like brothers.
I was less emotional at the meeting than I imagined I would be. I sat across the table from the man I had spent most of my adult life with. A friend sat next to me as witness and another of “our’ friends sat next to him. He was essentially engaged by this time, although not officially until a couple of months later, and although painful, I guess this made it easier to move on in some ways. He cried a bit and basically said he couldn’t believe I wasn’t showing more emotion. That was his way, to be all out there with his emotions; maybe not so much now, but at least then, I tended to keep my emotions on the inside or for more private moments.
Afterwards, everyone wanted to go get breakfast at a nearby diner. It was me, my freshly declared ex-husband, and our two friends. I didn’t really want to go, but also didn’t want to seem like I wanted to get out of there for some reason. Not really sure why now as I look back. Even without showing a lot of emotion, I was feeling a lot inside. This was the ending of life as I had known it and it turned out taking this time may have caused me a loss in another kind of way. I did my best to make it through the breakfast and part way through, my phone rang. I had been awaiting a call about a friend who was in the hospital, but this was not that call. This was one of my closest friends calling to say she had given birth during the night.
She was at a hospital a couple of blocks away and this gave me a good reason to say goodbye to my past life. Within about 20 minutes, I was at the hospital visiting my friend and holding a newborn baby in my arms. An ending had flowed into a beginning. Not having any children of my own, I hadn’t been so comfortable around little ones but my friend insisted I hold her new addition. I felt more comfortable than I imagined and it was such a joy to welcome this new life into the world.
I stayed and visited for a bit until it was time to let mother and baby rest. I had one more stop to make that day. It happened to be another hospital in another state, not too far away.
The weekend before had been the weekend of Passover; I had gone to back to New York to visit my family. On the train on the way home, I had gotten a call that my dear friend and mentor for energy healing was in the hospital. At first it wasn’t clear what was going on, but it seemed he had an aneurism and was in a coma like state.
I had seen him just the week before. We met to do what we would usually do, check in, discuss our work, and explore what energetic shifts we and others we encountered were experiencing. It was all big picture kind of stuff. I never felt so understood and in conscious awareness as when I was with this mentor. He had gifted me with the support to come to know my own gifts as a healer and how to truly be a spiritual being having a human experience.
During my divorce, I had taken on a full-time job to transition and figure out my next steps. Due to my schedule and the upcoming divorce, I was able to get to the hospital to see him right away. That Friday afternoon was the first chance I got to drive around DC to Virginia. I had been told by my close friends that he wouldn’t know I was there. Maybe this was part of my delay, too.
On that last day that I saw him, we had our usual fun. Yes, fun. He helped me to see the lightness of life even when I was feeling so hurt and so heavy. We did some very deep intensive healing work as I trained in a process he had developed and yet, there was always a joy in it. On that day, he was really excited as his son had just gotten accepted to college. He had finished a project he was working on and had “cracked” a case with a challenging client. He told me that he felt complete, like he had done all he came here to do. He said he didn’t know what his next steps would be but that he was content and grateful for this beautiful journey of life.
I was still in the midst of my life crumbling and yet, having this amazing friend and teacher, helped me to see and know that joy and peace were possible. From him, I had also learned that all of what I experienced in feeling and seeing energy was “normal”. In my marriage, there was not space for me to talk about energy or spirit; that was taboo. And, so I had hidden much of myself and my experience for many years. It was in connecting with this teacher that my life truly changed, and so I guess not surprising that my marriage had ended around that time, too.
It took me quite awhile to make it around the DC beltway into Virginia that afternoon. It was just past 4 pm as I arrived in the parking lot of the hospital. Just as I pulled in my phone rang. It was a friend calling to tell me that Bill had passed away about an hour before, while I was stuck in traffic. Again, she stressed that it may have been best, for although his body remained, he had seemed gone right away. Still, here I was at the hospital, coming to say what I imagined would be my farewell, at least in the physical, but I was too late.
I was supposed to be meeting another friend in the lobby who wanted to go see Bill, too. So, I went in and he was there waiting. I had to now tell him the news I had received on the phone. I didn’t realize until I did that he had no idea how serious things were. He had just heard Bill was in the hospital and so planned to come visit. He was in shock as was I. We sat and cried in the hospital lobby. There was nowhere to go and no one to say goodbye to.
There’s a bit more to that day, but it feels like this is enough to share. After that day, I felt like my whole life had washed away. Like there was nothing left of the me I knew before. I felt like I had beared so much and could bear no more. Bill had helped me through a major transitional time in my life. Some of that was outer changes like loss of loved ones, my marriage ending, moving, changing my work, etc. Most of it was, inner changes such as coming to know and understand my path as a healer, learning my own inner guidance system and how to trust my experience.
I truly believed I would not have made it through this time without his support. And, with him suddenly gone, I didn’t feel like I had the foundation I needed to go on. I wandered in this lost state for several weeks, even months. The pain was so great that I am not sure how I functioned, but somehow I did. I had already experienced loss in many ways, but there was a potency to this day and to having the experience of divorce, birth and death happen in such a proximal way that I will never forget.
Life is journey that includes many beginnings and endings, many gains and many losses, many births and many deaths. As humans, it’s so natural to want to hold on to how things are but that is not the nature of existence. I think the beauty of having all of that experience in one day showed me how important it is to just be with life, to flow and to trust that wherever we are is where we need to be.
Perhaps there is a day in your life that feels most important or impactful. I hope you’ll take some time whether in writing or in life to share or reflect on that day, on what you felt and what you learned.