At what point does a person you know become your friend?
A friend of mine died yesterday. It has filled me with enormous sadness. But I don’t know if I can really call her my friend, not least because I wasn’t really a friend to her.
I met Adani at a Goddess Gathering that I attended during my quest to find my spirituality which I lost when I became sober. I felt uncomfortable at the gathering, listening to people talk of what they could ‘see’, the angels that they knew were close by and could ‘hear’, the visions that came to them in their dreams. I had never experienced anything like this in my life and try as I might, I could not relate.
Adani was sitting next me in the circle. She immediately sensed my discomfort and told me the story of her journey. How she grew up in a devout catholic household, and had felt guilty for most of her life, how she had become a naturopath and through that had found her way to her own spirituality. Be patient, she had encouraged me, my own spirituality in whatever form that meant for me, would reveal itself.
We became facebook friends, although we never became close largely due to the fact that I somehow couldn’t commit myself to the spirituality that they believed in. Eventually, I went through a vehement atheist phase and through a moment of atheistic activism I deleted almost everyone from that group off my facebook page. Their belief and faith offended me, I had decided, and I didn’t need to see their constant postings of things that didn’t exist.
Except they did exist. To them. And that is all that matters. I have mentioned that I am studying Philosophy and Anthropology. One of the things that we are learning about is a thing called phenomenology which is where you bracket, or suspend, your own belief (or non-belief) and ethnocentricity to fully understand the thing or people you are studying. For it is only through this method that you can fully experience what the other person is experiencing and their motivations for doing so. First seek to understand. It isn’t an easy thing to do when culturally we are taught that our way is the only way to do things. But do it we must if we are to gain full understanding of the culture we seek to study.
When I heard of Adani’s death yesterday, I wept. We hadn’t been in touch for over a year, but her love and light in the world was unmistakeable. She was living a truth, her truth, and this truth allowed her to be that light. My prejudice, on the other hand, had snuffed out that light on my facebook page. As with a lot of things in life, it is now too late.
So, Adani, my friend. I want to say to you that I finally see you for all the wonderful light filled person you were. You were so friendly and warm whenever our paths crossed, always making time to talk to me, to find out how my sobriety was going and to enquire as to how I was travelling inside, which you said was so very important. I want to tell you that whilst I was in disagreement with some of what you said and believed, at the heart of it, it was me in my spiritual darkness that was to blame. You reached out to me, and whilst you were no doubt unaware of it, I turned away from you.
I am growing, though, Adani. Your transition from life was swift, and one person mentioned that this was because you were such a light, your spirituality so strong, that your soul did not need a long drawn out process to pass, to enable you to come to terms with the end of your life. You were ready and so you left quickly. I would like to think that was true.
Dear Adani, thank you for your kindness and your light. You have no idea how you helped me become a better person, even in your passing. I hope you find your light in the spiritual world. I truly hope it exists for you. You lived your truth with such passion, it would be so wonderful for that truth to become a reality for your soul.