A week ago, I found out that one of my best friends from Middle & High School died. How it happened, I wish I could say. I heard via Facebook too late to call back east and spent three hours of the next morning sifting through rumors, calling the cops, her phone, and even the newspaper until I got a hard confirmation from a family friend. I still don’t know how she died. All I know is that she is gone, leaving behind twin 3-year-olds and a lot of people who love her.
I’ve been reading (and very much enjoying), Stephen Batchelor’s book Confession of a Buddhist Athiest. In his travels, he came across a teaching that doubt should be explored and celebrated because it mirrors the potential depth of understanding/awakening.
As I cried my eyes out and spent the week finding space to try to wrap my mind around what happened, I thought about that teaching. I started to realize that the depth of sorrow I was feeling over the loss of my friend mirrored the depth of love I have for her, the depth of gratitude that she was such an important part of my life. Grieving is the healing process of finding balance between the two.
Like so many simple teachings, it is such a hard lesson not only to learn but to live.