I sat at the dining room table trying to get onto Jon’s blog last night after posting the piece I had written about visiting Susan in the hospital. When it wasn’t working I tried on my iPhone, but that did work either.
Then Jon called out from his office and said that Susan had died.
I was relieved that she had moved on and sad at the same time. Then I smiled because I had no doubt that Jon’s blog crashing was a communication from Susan.
How do you know Jon asked me later. “I don’t really,” I said. ” It’s a feeling, something I believe to be true.” I’d experienced this kind of thing before when someone dies. I’d heard similar stories from other people. It makes sense to me.
I don’t claim to know what Susan was trying to say or that it was even an intellectual effort on her part. I just believe it’s a kind of communication. An acknowledgment of Susan leaving and our connection to her.
What better way to get a message to Jon than through his blog.
Jon’s done so much for Susan in these past couple of weeks, much more than I did for her. And as he wrote on his blog, he fell right back into the friendship, the way it was before he broke off the relationship.
I couldn’t do that, but I more than made my peace with Susan and I hope I did something similar for her.
I’m not one to make someone into a saint after they die. I think people are much more interesting and even loveable when I can understand their vulnerabilities as well as the parts of them that are easy to be like.
I don’t know if I could have continued to be Susan’s friend if she lived. I don’t know if I have that kind of acceptance in me. Maybe we could have worked something out if we both really wanted to.
I am grateful that I was able to be helpful to Susan when she was dying. Our relationship, no matter how damaged it was, taught me a lot about myself. And when I sat next to her last night in the hospital, communicating more with my feelings than words, I did feel love for her.
I keep learning that there are all different kinds of friendships and many different kinds of love.
I don’t claim to know, but it feels to me like there is freedom in death. That’s what I wish for Susan, to freely move on to whatever comes next.