\ Letting Go | Christina Brandt

Letting Go

Two weeks ago, I found myself on a plane to Montreal.  Not what I thought I’d be doing that day, I’d changed my plans to be with one of my oldest and dearest friends.  Her mom was in the last days of her life after a long bout with cancer.  Emotionally and energetically tapped out, my friend had spent almost a year handling her mother’s affairs, sat long hours by her side in palliative care, and was away from home and family for weeks at a time.

I wasn’t sure what I’d do there, but knew I had to go.  Spending time in the waiting room while my friend sat with her mom, I found myself praying for a release from pain for mother and daughter.   My friend would occasionally come into the room and we’d talk about her mom and exchange a hug.  I’d pass tissues, or sit by her while she napped on the sofa.  Eventually we’d go home to her mother’s apartment, not knowing what to do with ourselves as we waited for something to change.  Sometimes Sonia, a neighbor, would drop off a meal or a few treats for us.  Other times, we’d cobble together odd little dinners.

One evening, my friend noticed my mala.  (It’s a beautiful string of turquoise hearts, purchased from a client who’d started a wonderful business.  Fingering the hearts as I meditate and pray has brought comfort, and it eases my “distractability” a bit.)  She put the mala around her neck and felt for the first time what I’ve often felt wearing those stones – an energy and warmth that heals.  I suggested she wear it for the next few days; she needed it more than I did.

During those long nights when sleep proved elusive, we sat up and talked about everything and nothing, keenly aware that at any moment we might receive a call from the hospital.  We talked a lot about our plans for the coming year, and how we’d clean out all our junk in preparation for moving to new homes.

I said it was getting harder to part with things now that a lot of the easy decisions had been made.  I was coming down to the objects that I tell myself are so important I can’t part with them.  She said, “That’s where the true lessons lie.  When you’re willing to part with what you love and give it to someone else.”

A few days later, my friend took the mala from her neck and wanted to give it back.  In that moment I knew it belonged with her.  The only thing I could say was “I want you to have this thing I love.  It’s yours.” I felt honored to give it to her.

Eventually, my friend’s mom did pass on.  The morning of the funeral, Sonia caught up with us just as we were about to leave for the services.  She put a small pouch in my hand, saying “I want you to have this.”  I opened the pouch and found this:

Heart Amulet

I can’t tell you how lovely it was to feel that generosity, and to see love come back to me in another form.

This holiday season, I hope that you will be generous with your love and time.  I know, too, that love will come to you in many unexpected forms.  Letting go and clearing out, trusting that all is already well, will always lead you in the direction of your right, and love-filled, life.

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