My heart is breaking with the news of the passing of a beautiful, amazing young woman I was honored to meet and know towards the end of her short life on Earth named Bethany Richmond. She passed into the Spirit World after a long struggle with cancer. She just turned 29 years old.
The irony is not lost on me that the morning after writing my piece on not wanting to be alive, I get the news that a dear young woman, who very much wanted to live, is no longer.
Bethany dedicated her life to being an advocate for our animal relatives. Quiet, a little shy, beautiful, her passion came alive when talking about the rights of animals and the importance of a vegan diet. I only got to spend a little time with her and a few communications via emails, but I feel a huge missing in my heart today, and I am grieving her loss.
And, as much as I deeply appreciate all of the responses people sent to my last posting because I know they are coming from a genuine and caring place, I do not want to sound ungrateful, but no one is telling me anything I do not already “know.” I “know” where my upset comes from—my thoughts and mind. I “know” that I am a highly blessed and privileged human being. I “know” that compared to many, my life is a walk in the park on a gorgeous, sunny day. I “know” that life is not about outcomes, it is about living. Not only do I “know” all of this, I have written on and talked about all of these things and so much more, many, many times before. I appreciate the responses reposting things I have written and said before, helping me re-presence my self in a new way to the old things I already “know.” And I appreciate the Rumi poems because Rumi is quite possibly one of my all time favorite poets because he was a master at calling forth Love in its most powerful and Divine.
But sometimes, there is just the experience of the feeling, the pain, the overwhelm, the grief, the anger. Sometimes, for me since I was a little girl, there is this force within me that calls me to take myself out. It is not a thought so much as it is this force that is overwhelming. Being born is not some grand philosophical belief, as some feel and have said. Literally, it is just this thing that happens. Things are born, die, reborn, to die again. I “know” that I am just a tiny microscopic blip in a long continuum that may or may not have a beginning or end—we don’t know. EVERYTHING else is a story we make up. It is about coming up with whatever story works for us that helps us in this wild, unpredictable journey. Life does not happen for a reason. Life happens, and then the reason is what me make of it.
For me, as I have mentioned many times before, the story I keep returning to is one of love and service. It’s actually why I write on this blog. I don’t write seeking advice, although I deeply appreciate everyone’s care, concern, and desire to contribute, and I am very open to learning something new from others. I write because I hear from people that sometimes what I write is of service, and service is core to keeping me here. And I keep returning to love because it is what drives my desire to be of service and because it seems the only thing that calls me to be bigger than I know myself to be. I keep choosing love. Why Love? Why Not? Because it hurts like hell, that’s why. And at the same time, it is what helps call me back out of the pain, over and over again.
And, then, Life in all of its wild, random, synchronicity reached out to me yet again, as I sat this morning tears streaming down my face as I received the news of Bethany’s passing, and looked up to see a young woman, probably right about Bethany’s age walking by with a big black, off the shoulder shirt and emblazoned in big, bold white letters…
“LOVE IS EVERYTHING.”
Thank You Bethany for Loving Life so much.
I love you.