[Norway, October, 2015]
On my way to Friends Meeting at Cambridge Sunday morning, my phone rang. It was my brother; his best friend—someone I barely knew—had died the night before. So in silent worship I held my brother and his friend and his friend’s family “in the light,” as Quakers say. Which, for me, means I waited to hear what that small still voice* might teach me about this sad news.
A lot, it turned out. I found myself remembering Harriet Lerner’s Dance of Anger, for example, a wonderful book I haven’t consciously thought about in years. Lerner pointed out how exquisitely families organize, balance themselves. Recalling her wisdom prompted me to be open to the very real possibility that this tragic loss for my brother will impact the rest of our family. And to spend some time thinking how this wind of death and loss and grieving might bend all of us; what that might look like. And how I might be a Be There (as in that supreme compliment: “He/she was always there for me.”) sister.
Something else came to me in that pregnant silence: How in 1985, when I’d read Dance of Anger, how little I’d understood the concept of interconnectedness. (Safe to say I probably didn’t get it AT ALL!) And how, thirty-one years later, I do. I believe. Without ceasing.
* Sometimes called The Inner Teacher