These words came to me from my massage therapist whom I called to tell that my muscles had a rebound effect to her work on my body. I was feeling increased pain and a general feeling that there was something not right.
This therapist knows that I am in this city for the purpose of settling the affairs of my friend who recently died. She had met this friend and knew how precious our relationship was and how deeply I am grieving.
“No, Honey, there is nothing wrong. It’s just that you are here and she is not”.
Those simple words of authoritative wisdom have not left me.
There is not much that can be said to a grieving person that feels like help. Yet, this response was helpful to me.
First, she spoke with authority. Grief brings with it a sense that everything is shifting. It’s helpful when someone is sure of something because you don’t feel sure of anything.
Then, she gave assurance that there is nothing wrong. Grief whispers that something has happened that is very wrong. Guilt whispers that I could/should have done something different and this would not have happened.
Finally, she uncovered the stark reality: You are here and she is not.
I’ve always come to this city because my friend was here. Now I am here and she is not.
It feels intrusive to sort through her personal things while her ashes are displayed on a coffee table with an official letter that they have permission to travel.
But this statement, you are here and she is not is not limited to this season of executing her will and releasing her possessions.
No, until my name comes up in the book where all my days are written it will be my reality. I am here on this earth and she is not.
Deep in my heart, I know that this reality does not mean that there is something wrong. In fact, my faith voice is beginning to gain strength and actually tell me that all is well.
God used the voice of this therapist, who is of Jewish faith, Syrian heritage and Mexican culture to speak the words that Jesus wants me to hear.
Strengthened by the Holy Spirit, I can walk on because there is nothing wrong. It’s just that I am here and my friend is not.