The Truth of My Heart on This Autumn Night

Two of my friends died last month.
One elected to take her own life, the other fought against dread disease, holding death back with extraordinary power before finally acceding to its call.
With the first, there was no goodbye.
She went alone into the dark night, so none of us who cared for her was able to bid her any blessing or farewell.
With the second, she and I dined at our ‘regular’ just weeks before her final breath, both understanding that it was our ‘last supper’.
There were few patrons at the restaurant.
Ours was the only occupied table in a side alcove.
There was no background music.
A candle glowed and its flame trembled a little.
We looked back at our friendship of nearly forty years, not calling it a journey, for it was not one.
It was a deep, no-nonsense, laughing, crying communion within which we had mostly explored Truth.
Over the years, we explored the small truths within relationships—those which are easily forfeited by misfiring egos;and we explored the huge truths—those which bind all life together, but which are at risk in tyrannical times.
Over plates of good Italian food—each of us aware of a portal opening between this life and the next; each aware of a coming transition from this reality to another—it was Truth that was again our subject.
It was Truth that was at the core of our unflinching, closing conversation.
And, not long afterwards, when her life partner called me to voice the real farewell, it was Truth that I saw in my beloved friend’s beautiful, confiding, soon-to-close eyes.
Now, it’s cold. The moon is half and waxing. My heart is sore.



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