I've recently amended my self taught beliefs, it's part of what makes only believing what you want even better. I'm straddled between whether it's a healthy move or just a mind game. Either way, it was like someone flipped a switch in my head and suddenly I was able to deal with the loss. I lost a friend in January and it didn't have to happen. He's just part of a faceless statistic that fell between the cracks of a wrecked healthcare system. His name was Jimmy and he had just turned 60 years old. Jimmy was a work buddy, which makes the basis of our friendship somewhere between a shared hatred of people who order hot tea and our matching ability to make jokes about folks in front of them without their knowledge and a shared appreciation of leftovers from patrons plates. Plus an inappropriate amount of talk around the subject of poop and crop dusting...basically a restuarant relationship. I didn't realize until after he was gone all the conversations that I had only with him. He was my book conversationist and we had the same taste in reads. You don't understand how important this is until its gone. In the restuarant world people come and go...a lot. I had just lost one friend that decided to go into the family business and move back closer to her parents. Another and her husband scored a dream job and moved to St. Croix. They were gone...just like Jimmy. Insert change in death perception here...in my mind Jimmy's now living in Panama or maybe Costa Rica or maybe he's just walking the boardwalk in Hollywood, Fl with a tan and a huge smile. I think when he got to wherever it is that we go for a pit stop and refuel they said "Shit man, sorry about that bum heart, our bad...got an offer for you though...think its one you're gonna really like." I can't be sad anymore. I miss him and our conversations the same way as I miss my other friends that have moved on. Healthy or no?
Around this same time that I was wrapping (or twisting) my mind around this, I had a dream. One of those that you can remember almost every detail and it felt just like living it. We had gone out of town and boarded the dog, which in my dream was Roger not Dexter. When the trip was over and we came back to town I couldn't remember where I'd left my dog. I was frantic to find him. Somehow I was at work when I figured out where he was and left without turning in my money and reports...weird stuff. Anyhow, when I got the the place that had Roger it was after hours and I thought I would have to wait til they opened, but there was lady that let me in to him then proceeded to set up a little microphone and some type of karaoke setup. She played some crazy tune and woke up some of the neighbors celebrating our being back together. I remember old people in night gowns opening up doors and glaring down the hallway at the noise. I realized I still had my work money and decided to just wait up and call the bossman first thing to explain. When he answered the phone he said "I just heard from them that they couldn't find your pulse." I woke up instantly with this huge feeling of "Ok-ness" and maybe peace? I don't know. To me, I had just experienced what it would be like to die and there was nothing bad about it. I was so excited to be back with Roger and I had no idea that I had gone to where he was not the other way around. There was no sense of loss for what I had left, only the completeness of being where I was. I've always believed that the larger part of our soul is sitting up there somewhere whispering into our ears trying to lend a little guidance or nudge us the way we are supposed to be headed, but I had never put it all together like this. My larger soul is sitting up there with Velcro's larger soul and all my other cosmic litter mates. And Roger is there with my soul and she's taking care of him, and she is me so I'm still with him. I am so, so glad that I am not restricted by the beliefs that were taught to me and that most everyone else lives with. They are very depressing. As I write this, we are awaiting "the phone call" about another friend whose body is struggling to hold on to his soul. I'm going to miss him when he leaves too, but he's moving away to a place just like Jimmy's and he's going to be so excited for whatever is waiting for him, just like my dream.
We can't change life and death but we can change our perception.