I lost a dear friend last week who was taken from our clutches so suddenly. It came so quickly and unexpected to us all. This is someone I’d know for over 12 years. It was a massive shock! He was a happy, active, spirited and healthy man who died from Sudden Arrhythmic Death Syndrome (SADS). SAD’S are genetic heart conditions that can cause sudden death in young and apparently healthy people.
Warning Signs: family history of unexpected, unexplained sudden death under age 40; fainting or seizure during exercise, excitement or startle; consistent or unusual chest pain &/or shortness of breath during exercise.
My sister called me from Vietnam to inform me of the news on Thursday, I didn’t quite believe it. It didn’t hit straight away, actually it didn’t hit or sink in for a few days.
In life, we’re taught that peace and happiness will come from cherishing and living fully in the present moment, but I often wonder what should we do when the moment sucks – such as when we hear about the death of a friend?How do we embrace and accept the pain of heartbreaking loss without suffering anger, deep sadness and sorrow? In all honesty I don’t think you can. What prepares you for something like this?
During the first week after Eoin’s death I allowed myself to take comfort in my heartache, yet at the same time I also did something about it. I allowed myself to feel the ache and pain in my heart. I responded to this pain, by listening to its needs, and expressed my feelings in words on my journal. I cried when I needed to cry, rather than suppressing.
Some days as I was just going about my work, tears came from no where while I was on public transport on my way to teach. Instead of suppressing, I just allowed them to flow out. I allowed myself to spontaneously break into tears without any apologies. What I noticed was by giving my pain its moment, the tears eventually subsided as that moment of pain passed.
When we lose someone we love, many of us tend to run from that pain. We drown out the sound and ache of those feelings by numbing ourselves in many different ways through external things.
Sometimes we’ll even refuse to talk about it, which causes us to bury those intense feelings of the moment, the problem is this only makes them grow deeper and bigger.
When your on the opposite side of the world you feel helpless. We wanted so badly to be back at home with all our friends so that we could grieve together.
I had a private yoga client on Friday morning (the day after I’d found out about Eoin’s death) along with my 2 regular classes. I wondered to myself ‘How will I teach, I feel sad, deeply sad’. After my private I had some time to kill in between teaching so I took myself off to a cafe for a tea, I had some time to think. Next came an overflow of tears, I didn’t care who saw me – I needed to grieve, cry and let it all out. I managed to get through the rest of the day but that weekend was extremely hard. We thought of booking flights and going home but it was just too expensive.
We both haven’t been ourselves since his death, we’ve not been sleeping well and it’s been on our minds a lot.
Why am I writing this post? I’ve been doing a lot of pondering about death and what it means. I’m lucky enough to have a wonderful mentor that provided me with these words when I most needed them last week.
”Death is not sad for the person as it just means they are going back to source….it can be sad for those left behind as it is a reminder that our earth walk had a ‘used by date’.”
Death really puts things into perspective. Why do we worry about silly stuff? Why do we waste our energy getting angry, holding grudges, bad mouthing others? Why aren’t we grateful for what we have, why do we constantly want more, why do we compete and compare with one another? Why can’t we forgive and forget? Because these are our human conditions.
Why can’t we just be present and grateful for each waking day we have on earth. Since my friends death, I’ve been waking up each morning and looking myself in the mirror ‘Corona this could be your last day today, how can you serve others, live today like its your last day’.
My thoughts on death: I don’t believe we die and that’s it. I believe we depart our physical body and earth but our soul is eternal and lives forever. Our time here is short compared to our eternal life. I believe we’ve been here before many times and we’ll continue to return until we learn our lessons – whatever they may be in this lifetime. The lessons you come into this world to learn will present themselves to you over and over again until you learn them. I believe we chose when we are born and when we will die. I know that my friend Eoin is happy and at peace where ever he is and I know I will meet him again one day.
The last memories I have of Eoin which I’ll hold in my heart forever are those from our wedding this year. He had us all in stitches laughing for those days over our wedding weekend. He’s one of the funniest guys I’ve know. I know that he touched every single heart he came in touch with, his big warm smile, kindness, playful nature, Love of adventure. If there is one person who has really lived their life – it’s him!
So Eoin this poem is for you…..
”A friend with the biggest welcoming heart
Arms and heart always wide open
Welcoming everyone in
A friend who lived life to the full
An adventurer, explorer, lover of life, legend and pure gentleman
I feel truly honored and blessed to call you a friend
You will be missed, you will never be forgotten
This goodbye is not forever, nor is it the end
We’ll meet you again soon dear friend, take care until then”
I found this song from Deva Premal, its for you Eoin.
I’ll always remember those treasured happy memories from our times together; time of lots of laughter, times of happiness and times of so much fun. You will always remain in my heart, forever.
I know that grieving is the process of losing you, and as time goes on, such grief is eased by the love and care from surrounding family and friends.
Reach out today and tell someone you love them, what have you to lose. Eoin’s death has very much taught me savor the present moment and to tell those near and dear in my life how much I love them.
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