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Good Grief!

“Good Grief, Charlie Brown!”

Charles M Schulz,  [1922-2000] Cartoonist. Creator of ‘Peanuts.’ 

Grief is a fascinating thing. Subtle. Persnickety. Blatant. Coy. Then there’s In-your-frickin’-face, or … whispering in the background of the Mind. Overall, from an observer’s standpoint, truly quite fascinating!

I’ve run the gamut the past two weeks following the death of a person very dear to me; one I called friend. Dear friend. I believe I was also ‘friend’ to her ~ as she affirmed that countless times.  What is equally beautiful and magical is the fact that she had so many people in her life with whom she affirmed and celebrated. This fact is a testament to the openness of her spirit.

Oh, she could be a ‘hard-liner,’ believing what she believed and didn’t care a fig if you agreed or not; yet one (strangers included) knew where they stood with her. She would agree-to-disagree, or simply move on. In my observations, she didn’t waste time or energy (physically or mentally) on what she considered other people’s nonsense, codependency, blaming-outside-reasons, and living small.. At the same time, she was open to new, and discovery, and learning, and exploring, and … and … and. She would champion you in where you wanted to go, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.  And even physically. Her life and legacy is a tribute to these very qualities. 

When I decided to write today about ‘Grief,’ I was unsure whether to write about Karen, or write about the processing of grief. Looks like I am doing both. Along with the sadness of things no-longer-to-be, I’ve experienced great joy and much laughter remembering encounters, conversations, and stories of her life shared by her, and sometimes with her, over the decades. So yes, the grief process is as much about joy, in my book. The joy of life. The joy of connections that fill-a-cup and enhance a life. I am exceedingly grateful. 

Karen loved living life. In all its many forms. She was an unabashed merchant, owning a thriving apparel store for decades. She loved dressing up in costume for halloween (initially, much to John’s chagrin. Ha!). She championed rescue animals, energy healing, travels and adventures to other countries that most folks would only dream about. She rode elephants (and owned their paintings), saw the statues on Easter Island, went to Patagonia, and Asia, walked Machu Picchu, was an excellent horsewoman, and a pretty good marks(wo)man. 

And Lemurs ~ let’s not forget her love of Lemurs! 

She championed meals and school supplies for children in her county, and pitchforked manure for her gardens. She had the-almost-completed dojo in her home, practiced tai chi, and had whimsical metal sculptures on the land where she lived. She wasn’t sure about bitcoin (yet) and knew to the penny her investments and income.She positively adored the grandboys, and their adventures at Dawn Patrol, or looking at tadpoles in tidal pools, and reading (or making up) stories. Her daughters were, as she once shared with me, the best gifts she ever gave the world. 

Karen was one of my sheroes. An important, and at times vital, touchstone in my life. Another friend of mine, when offering condolences, said “May her spiritual voyage be amazing.”  I am certain it indubitably is!

Therefore, I’ll continue to grieve briefly, and celebrate eternally.  Thank you Karen for having graced my life with love and laughter, curiosity and answer-seeking, color and Light.  Onward ma’dear. Onward! 

‘Til we meet again. Namaste’