by Gladys Diaz
I’ve been going back and forth about whether or not to write this post, and I decided that, since it’s been on my mind so much, I need to.
Last Friday I attended the funeral of one of my very first clients. She was a young, vibrant woman who was into health and fitness, and left behind two beautiful teenage sons, and a loving husband.
When I first heard that she had passed away, I couldn’t believe it. She had done everything in her power to fight the cancer that was attacking her body, but never her spirit. She had thousands of people praying for and encouraging her. She was so loved that in just two days, her friends and family raised almost all of the $30,000 that was going to go toward helping pay for her to participate in a completely natural and holistic healing program.
Unfortunately, she passed away the day she was supposed to travel to the center to begin her treatment.
As I walked through a store the following day, I found myself hurrying to pay and get to my car because I knew I was about to break down in front of everyone. I just kept thinking about her and the time we spent working together when she attended one of my courses. I thought about how hopeless she felt at the beginning of the course. I remembered her sighing heavily and saying, “I don’t even know if there is hope for us” (referring to her and her husband’s marriage).
She wasn’t the “easiest” client. Almost every suggestion I made was met with resistance and a reason why it wouldn’t work for her and her husband. There were times when she felt hopeless, where she didn’t feel like doing the exercises I’d assign between sessions, and where I wondered if she would come around. I worked with her with loving compassion, because I know how scary it can be to get your hopes up when you wonder if things will ever really change.
Over the past five years we didn’t keep in touch very often, except for a few phone calls and commenting on and liking one another another’s Facebook posts. I did, however, always smile when she would post a picture of her and her husband. I’d observe their smiles, their eyes, and their body language. I could tell they were happy together, and it made me smile, too!
It was during that walk from the store to my car that it hit me that, while I hadn’t been able to do anything to stop the cancer from taking her life, because of the work we did together, she and her husband got to experience five more years together – five happy years together. I smiled through my tears as I realized that those five years may not have been possible, and that, instead of dying inside of a sad or broken marriage, she had left this world knowing that she had loved and been loved by her husband.
His eulogy of her was beautiful. He spoke of his wife, lover, and friend. He challenged us to live our lives as she did, trying to make this world a better place. Having lost my first husband, I couldn’t help feeling my heart break for him as I thought of painful days to come as he works through his grief and the reality of her not being here any longer begins to set in.
But I also thanked God that I had the opportunity to make a difference for him and his wife. That, in some small way, I was able to help them experience and share their love for just a little bit longer.
As I sat by the ocean after the funeral, thanking God for my husband and kids and the gift that it is to be alive and love and be loved by them, I thought about what her husband said about living our lives to make a difference in this world. I thought about all of the women I’ve worked with and who I’ve been able to make a difference for, and said a prayer of thanks for them. I thought about all of the women out there who haven’t had the courage to reach out for help as she did, and I prayed they’d find the strength to do so. And I thought about the difference there is still to make!
I don’t know where you are right now in your love life. I don’t know if you’ve begun to give up hope on whether you’ll ever be able to have the type of loving relationship you dream of and your heart desires. I don’t know what it’s going to take for you to gather the courage to reach out for support so that you can begin to make that dream a reality.
What I do know is that tomorrow is not promised and that continuing to wait, expecting for things to change on their own, isn’t going to have you create and experience the love and happiness you truly want.
So, just as I did that day by the ocean, I’m saying a prayer for you today and hope it moves you to take one step in the direction of your dreams.
And, as for my former client, I know that wherever you are, you are radiating love, beauty and joy. Thank you for allowing me to make a small difference in your life. I love and will miss you! Rest in peace and know that you are loved!
I sent this message to my community today and was overwhelmed by the emails that came in response — women sharing what opened up for them as they read the message.
What about you? Has anything begun to open up for you? If so, please share it with us in the comments below. We love hearing from you!