I'm 77 years old, and the friend that I have had since I was nine years old died yesterday. You may wonder how I feel about that? Probably not the way most people would think. Nancy was an indomitable person whom life threw many curve balls at. Her mother died when she was about three or four years old. Her father couldn't stay home to look after her and four or five other children and earn a living. There was no such thing as welfare in those days, so he did the next best thing. He made arrangements for Nancy to live with a family in Egmont. They already had a couple of children of their own and figured one more wouldn't hurt at all. Nancy enrolled at our school when she was six years old.
She was sort of like a new-born fawn. Long-legged and defenseless. Her older sisters did nothing to help her in her new school surroundings. In fact a couple of them were a thorn in my side and I was a tough kid quite capable of taking care of myself and my older sister.
I watched and minded my own business as some of the brattier kids began to make Nancy's existence miserable. Finally, I couldn't stand it any longer when a group of kids were shoving her around a circle just for fun. One kid would shove her towards another who did the same thing until she was staggering around like a drunken sailor. I went over and took hold of her and the kids thought I was going to join in their fun. I took Nancy out of the circle and said do you want stay in that ring or do you want to leave it? She was beyond crying and she said, "I want to leave it, but they won't let me." "They will now" I said, or they can try shoving me around their circle" No one wanted to try that.
From that day onward, Nancy tagged along with me and no one mistreated her while I was around. That happened about 69 years ago, and we have remained friends all through our lives.
Of course, we had times when our lives drifted many miles apart, but we always seemed to find each other every once in awhile.
For now, I'll just tell you that Nancy was in a very abusive marriage. The man that was her husband was a waste of skin in my books. But I'm not going to tell about that just now. I want to let Patrick know what I believe has transpired since his mother crossed over the River of Hope.
I believe that when one of our loved one's die we should not allow our tears to touch their body as the tears cling onto them ,and they have a harder time crossing over because they don't want to leave us on earth hurting so badly.
This is the way I visualize it when someone I love crosses over. Assisting Spirits are all around her as she proceeds down a beach towards a canoe that will bring her across the River of Hope. There is a Spirit navigator in the canoe who will paddle her across. On the shore are all the living people who don't want her to die and leave them. They are crying and pleading with her to remain here on earth. I believe that the tears that are shed at such a time are shed for ourselves because we are going to miss her. She stands there, feeling torn between staying with her living loved ones and discovering what awaits her across the River of Hope.
She makes her decision, turns and throws kisses and waves at those standing there. She walks towards the canoe and the waiting Spirits help her into the craft. The navigator pushes off from shore and they move steadily towards the horizon which obscures their vision of what lies beyond. Now, she is feeling an excitement as she draws further away from the weeping people. She looks towards the horizon and they are nearing the very crest of it. Soon they will be able to look ahead and see what awaits them. Her heart and soul are reaching towards the unknown and she is not afraid.
The helmsman lets out a sound in a language she does not understand, but she looks in the direction he is pointing and wading out from the far shore of the River of Hope are all the people who ever loved Nancy. Now, she can barely wait to reach the other side. She recognizes her two daughters who are weeping tears of joy at the sight of her, and she is happy that she is making this journey. She sees her mother, her father, her sisters and many other people she has loved in life. Her breast is so full of thanksgiving that she no longer has the slightest qualm about crossing over the River of Hope.
She gives a last look in the direction she has come from and she sends healing thoughts of love towards you Patrick. She knows that you will miss her but she wants you to know that she has two good legs and everything else about her is in tip-top condition. She has left the injured body behind and taken on her eternal shape that allows her to run free for the first time in a very many years.
This is the way I view death. I believe that Nancy is truly happy for the first time in many years. She has gone home.