There are those times in our lives when making a decision involves a leap of faith, because we have no way of knowing what the consequences will be. This reality was brought home to me just this past week when I was unsure about getting on a plane to Denver with Hurricane Irene on the way to my hometown New York City. Here’s the story, but first some background.
Ten years ago, my closest friend was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. At the hospital with my friend was her sister and her daughter Lisa who had just given birth to a son who was two months old. In her “living will,” my friend had designated me to be the person to make the “disconnect” decision if she ended up on life support. When I was in the hospital, I realized this: don’t ask someone to make this very intense decision unless they truly can honor your wishes. Watching my friend’s sister and daughter going through all the pain and agony I realized why my friend had asked me – I was more emotionally removed and able to honor her wishes. Needless to say, this was one of the most difficult decisions I ever had to make.
Fast forward to this past February. I was in Denver, and got to see Lisa who has grown up to be a lovely woman and wonderful mother. Her first marriage didn’t work out but she now has met a wonderful man with a son and they were soon all going to be one big happy family. She asked if I would come to her wedding, which was scheduled to be last week. Since I was going to be in Denver, and my assistant had many requests from people in Denver for me to do a Gallery, I didn’t hesitate to tell her, “Of course I’ll be at your wedding.”
Then the day I’m about to leave, I learn like every other New Yorker that Irene was on her way. This presented a dilemma: should I go to Denver and face unknown consequences when it was time to return, or should I cancel Denver and batten down in New York? For me the key was not wanting to disappoint so many people in Denver who were looking to connect with their loved ones, and not wanting to miss Lisa’s wedding. I also knew that Lisa’s brother Tony would be there. He was making the trip after not seeing his sister since their mom’s passing. Plus, over the years, I have been a sort of surrogate parent to both Lisa and Tony since their Mom and Dad had both passed.
The bottom line was that I knew in my heart that I needed to go and so decided to deal with all the consequence of how to get back home to New York if and when the time came. Well…I went to Denver! The wedding was great! Seeing the tears of joy on Lisa and Tony’s faces when I arrived was spectacular. Add in all the wonderful readings at the Gallery, and well . . . I’m glad to say it was all a very worthwhile to mark the end of Summer 2011, even though consequences did follow. As I key these words to you, I’ve been stranded for two extra days in Denver because of the mayhem Irene caused in New York, including the closing of all the airports! Yes, it was an inconvenience but I am glad I listened with my heart and made the trip.
Sometimes in life we have to do things knowing that yes, there will be some inconveniences resulting from that decision. But usually these inconveniences will be nothing in comparison to the tragedy of losing a loved one, as the folks who attended my Gallery in Denver can attest. They would take on the inconveniences I experienced a thousand times over if they could see and hug their beloved DPs just one more time. That, of course, is impossible. But . . . there can be a reconnection to our DPs again through Spirit, which can be very healing. It’s a process I was honored to perform in Denver last week, and a process I have been honored to be a part of for nearly thirty years.
Now, September is here, and soon I’ll be continuing the process of connecting people to their beloved DPs as I travel to California, Utah, Colorado, Chicago, Virginia and elsewhere. Please visit my website and check out my calendar. Looking forward to connecting with you and those you love.