To leave, not far

June 27, 2010

“To leave,  not far, just somewhere else”

This is the  meaning of these words in French. The card is drawn by an artist named “marie-antoinette” and I chose it to say good-bye to two of my friends who died a few weeks ago.  Hence my silence on this blog. I just did not feel like writing, please excuse my absence.

They were friends of mine but they did not know each other. We had been writing to one another for about thirteen years. Hundreds of letters from outside to inside and vice versa.  We shared our daily lives, present and past,  our joys as well as our sorrows, our regrets and our hopes, our memories, our reflections and just  anything we felt like writing about.  “Writing – someone said – is like sharing a piece of soul“; nothing was more true than these words in our correspondance.

As fate would have it,  both of my penfriends – and friends –  left on the same day. No accident nor illness, their death was scheduled. It is very difficult for me to explain how I have been feeling since then. Incredulity and shock would be some of my feelings, for sure.  Sadness, helplessness too. And little by little, a feeling of peace for I know they reached the Light that had been so far away in almost half of their life.

Before he left, R. had written this prayer that I wish to share with you  on this Sunday morning:

Holy Spirit, mysterious, ever-present yet invisible,

You are the light of our souls even when we are in darkness.

At the beginning, you brought the Son of God into this dark world, the light of life itself.

You led Jesus to his passion and your eternal spirit was there when he was on the cross.

I greatly need your help and light right now.

Help me that I do not close the eyes of my soul to you out of confusion or fear.

Help all those around me who struggle in the same darkness.

Help each of us in our present sorrow, distress and horror,

To know that you are with us, guiding, strengthening with our gifts of courage, wisdom and understanding.

Lift up our spirits even when there appears to be no human hope.



18 Responses to “To leave, not far”

  1. Grace said

    Isabella, so sorry to hear of both your friends’ passing. Letting go is always a hard thing to do but the card you chose is a wonderful tribute to them both.

  2. giiid said

    This morning, while making coffee, I was wondering about what had happened to you, and thought about sending you an email. A moment later, sitting outside in the morning sun, I opened my blog and saw your name at my comment list. A nice surprise, but I haven´t read it yet, because I went to your blog to find out the reason of your absence. Having read this, my eyes are filled with tears of compassion with you and everyone involved in the death of your friends, and because of the sad fact that some people have to deal with a life in a dark world, so lonely and colourless, that it does not make sense to stay.
    I am so sorry for you that you lost not only one, but two friends…it is very strange that it happened that way. Your letters through the years must have been a great comfort to them, and being there to recieve theirs must have been just as important. You have been like a window from where a bit of light could enter their world. I think you will find peace in transforming your sorrow into art. I´m glad you are back, Isa.

    • Your words moved me very much, giiid. They also brought tears to my eyes. Thank you very much for your understanding and compassion. Your image of a “window where a light could enter” is exactly what my penfriends told me so often, they loved sharing my life outside. Mail call at the prison was the most important part of their day; when their names were called, they knew they were thought of and a window had opened again. Over the many years I have learned a lot, mainly that all men and women can change, no matter what their life had been. Isolation mirrors your own self. Having someone’s trust and being listened to without any judgement helps you change, grow, be responsible and express words, feelings that no judge might ever hear. Life continues giiid, no one can take what has been shared. I am grateful for your thoughts and words. Love and peace to you.

  3. Isa,
    I, too, had wondered about your absence. I’m so sorry. Your friends have found peace and in time, you will also. Blessings to you.

    • Tammy, it’s good to read you and be back in this friendly community. Yes indeed, my friends have found peace and I know time will heal. Nature also, I am fortunate to live in a wonderful environment that I loved to share. Thank you for your words and thoughts.

  4. iniyaal said

    Sorry to hear about the loss of your friends. Must have been sad to hear two bad news happening on the same day. My prayers that you find consolation… My prayers for you to find loving people who can share with you the way your friends did.

    • Thank you for your words and prayers, iniyaal. Yes, it was sad and so incredible to know they might leave on the same day… One always hope for a stay but it did not happen. I have very dear and loving people around me with whom I can share. Nice of you to think of it.

  5. Isa I am so sorry to hear about your loss. I hope that with the time you will find some answers. Life is full of mysteries . We can never be sure of what is ahead of us but as long as we try we can find the Hope. Keep writing Isa and you will find the truth…

    • You are right, Robert, about the mysteries of life. Writing one’s feelings helps a lot, at least for me. Hope has been and is always present, no matter what. Thank you for your thoughts and words, very touching.

  6. Isa, prisons are among worst places on the planet because it is so difficult for hope to exist there. However, hope was able to travel into your friends’ lives on the wings of your written words. May you take joy in that as you look back on your friendships.

    I can’t imagine the pain of a scheduled death. Yet that poem transcends suffering and is a testament to the enduring power of the Holy Spirit in all of the earth’s dark places.

    Your photograph is extraordinary.

    • Thank you flandrumhill, your thoughts are so well expressed. Hope does not often go behind bars, letters are precisely those wings-of-hope and I am grateful that my friends received their mail most of the time. Also thankful that our paths crossed. I wish scheduled deaths would be abolished everwhere in the world. No more violence and revenge when there are other options. I always remember these words from Gandhi : “An eye for an eye, and the world is blind”. Your words are a great help. Thank you so much.

  7. ancientcloth said

    Oh my dear Isa, I am so sorry to hear of your loss.
    What a touching poem your friend wrote… I had
    wondered why you were absent for such a while.
    I know you will carry fond memories of them in your heart. Peace to you!

    • Dear ancientcloth, thanks for your heartfelt words that touched me too.Yes, R. wrote well and it helped him expressing all he could not say before. He completed his education in prison since he left school too early in his troubled youth. Indeed I will carry fond memories of them both for all we shared. Peace to you also 🙂

  8. Kathy said

    Isabelle, soft and quiet hug… Your witness of their lives is a gift to their spirits. Thank you for sharing this.

  9. Carsten said

    Welcome back Isabella.
    I’m so sorry for your losses.
    When close relatives or very good friends suddently are gone – for whatever reason – they leave pain in your heart. But left is also loving memories. After some time the pain will fade, while the memories will last.
    Thanks for sharing your thoughts and R’s prayer. Your beautiful gate to the light and green is a perfect match for his prayer.

    • Carsten, many grateful thoughts and thanks for your words. I know time is a healer. As the days go by the memories of these friendships and the trust we shared will accompany me to more serenity. I feel it. Thank you.

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