I’m writing this tribute at 37000 feet in an aeroplane at 3.25am in the morning; all my fellow passengers are sensibly asleep. I am on my way home from a break having disconnected with the world for a couple of weeks so that I could begin to grieve and to accept a loss. In my break I made myself a priority. I meditated, slept for up to ten hours a day, journaled, smelt the sea air and felt the warm breeze, walked on the beach, daydreamed, had massages and healing sessions, cried and mostly remembered a cherished friend who taught me so much about unconditional love and of being service to others. My tears were of sadness, anger and even joy. Sadness due to the finality of the situation, angry at the unfairness of it all and joy at having known someone so beautiful. I’m returning home not feeling so empty or sad but instead a bit more myself, less tired emotionally and physically virtually pain free. Whilst my grief has not suddenly disappeared forever, my loss has become less crushing and devastating. It was essential that I took time out for me and my health without feeling guilty.
“Carve your name on hearts, not tombstones. A legacy is etched into the minds of others and the stories they share about you.” ~ Shannon L. Alder
Last month I lost a very close friend of mine through a terminal illness.
My beautiful courageous loving friend Beverly Bronson lost her fight against cancer. From diagnosis to her passing it was less than 6 months. During that time on almost a daily basis I told her that I loved her way beyond anything that I could express in words. I dedicated my daily mediation’s to her and kept her close in my heart. I wrote her a letter in which I said everything that I needed and wanted to say and gave her my treasured purple and silver heart as a symbol of my love and admiration for her. The heart in a way also represented a medal of honour for all that she had achieved in her lifetime and she had achieved a lot.
I adored this courageous, dedicated, loving, selfless, kind, funny, compassionate, joyful, humble human being and felt a privilege in knowing her. She was Founder of House with Heart, a home in Kathmandu, Nepal, for abandoned children & a facility for educating impoverished women & children since 2001. I have supported this Home since 2010 and have volunteered there 5 times giving McTimoney Chiropractic sessions to the children, the training women, and staff as well as go into local schools to teach and play with the kids from the community. Some of my clients have even volunteered out there themselves which was something that I never expected when I embarked on this journey. In doing so they have supported something that is very dear to my heart and for which I’m very grateful.
“Let us be grateful to the people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.” ~ Marcel Proust
I like many others who knew Beverly lived in hope that she would survive and beat the cancer. After all hope is the last thing to die. Despite her putting up a courageous fight it was not meant to be. During the period she was ill I felt like I had started the process of grieving and was preparing for her departure. Unfortunately nothing can prepare you for it. In my case I had developed a cold that lasted for many weeks. I also started getting severe headaches and joint pains and had difficulty sleeping as I tried to “reason with God” and find answers as to why a woman who had done so much good in the world had to undergo so much suffering. No answers came. I continued to work and threw myself into other daily activities as a way of coping. In the past having a purpose and a routine during stressful times has always served me well and it gave a semblance of normality and at times a welcome distraction. In hindsight I realised I was doing far too much and not getting adequate rest.
Within hours of hearing the news of Beverly’s passing, my back started aching, my joint pains intensified and by the end of the week I had the worst migraine I could recall in a long time. My cold became a full blown chest infection. However I still wouldn’t take time off to deal with my loss. Three days later I went to see my Myofascial practitioner for a routine appointment which was fortuitous as by this time I had started to seize up with the pain in my back and neck and was on painkillers. She had to go very gently on me and treat me with cranial work. McTimoney Chiropractic is not always the appropriate treatment and any good practitioner would recognise this. To my astonishment ( although not hers ) she found a huge knot of tension in my stomach; very gently though her work and my breathing it started to release which in turn was going to help my lower back. My neck was like an iron rod with tension which was undoubtedly giving me the headaches and I was oblivious to this until I was worked on. I’m always in awe of how the body stores emotions as I see it in my clients and now my body was reflecting that too. It made me realise that I needed to collect my thoughts and grieve and take some time out. I have always tried to practice what I preach and try to be the best possible McTimoney Chiropractor that I could be to my clients. At times it’s meant I’ve shown my vulnerability not just personally but professionally also; I see this as a sign of strength and courage and not a weakness. My clients will always see me for who I am. Beverly always said be honest especially with yourself and always come from a place of an open heart. I owe so much to her. Am sure her influence in my life has made me a better human being as well as a better McTimoney Chiropractor.
“The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.” ~ Mark Twain
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