Tuesday, January 4, 2011

In Memory

I sit here and type, thinking about the fact that I've been sharing myself very publicly for a couple of years now. In that sharing, a lot of things have been learned; about myself, for myself, about others, about views of life and living.

A great many unexpected things have come from blogging. Like the unbelievable sense of how vast the world is, yet immediate, now with the Internet and things like Facebook. There's an up and down-side to that immediacy. That immediacy and transparency is still in the process of being successfully incorporated into our lives. Some of us handle it better than others.

There is a surprise element in how 'close' you can become with other bloggers; a sense of community you never anticipated begins to grow. In fact, deep friendships, mentorships can be a great by-product of this new way of sharing ourselves.

What I didn't ever expect to experience is a deep sorrow that comes from losing someone who I have never met in real time. Never sat with and had a cup of coffee; never talked with on the telephone. Never smiled into their eyes. And yet...

...when I learned of the death of Tessa Edwards when visiting her blog, I wept as though she is someone whose hand I have held or hugged. How is that possible?

Tessa's blog is one that I found at the suggestion of another dear blogging friend of mine, Ribbon. She thought I would like Tessa's site very much; she was right. From the moment I saw the bright and fun banner, and read the words beneath it, "FROM A LIFE...A COLLECTION OF IMAGES IN PROSE, PAINT AND PHOTOGRAPHS," I knew I had found a place to learn and love.

Tessa and I became a bit closer when she had a contest to choose the title for a manuscript that she was hoping to publish. Her editor chose my suggestion. I was thrilled! Later still, when she and I had exchanged some messages, she began to call me Your Hollyness, because of my insistence on being the Queen of The Universe. A notion that Tessa wholeheartedly supported!

Her artwork is spectacular. Colorful, deeply steeped in her love of South Africa. Her ability to express herself in art and words you can't help but admire. With all of her talent, and her world traveled views, she wasn't one to take herself or life seriously. For Tessa, it's all about the experience of learning to find humor and love in each day and sharing with others.

One of her works, an armadillo floating tranquilly through the air via a hot air balloon hangs close to this desk where I do my work and chat with you. I admired it when she had it on her blog and left a comment about it; soon after, it arrived via the mail. How generous! I look at it often. While she has been so sick, I've stopped and sent Reiki whenever my eye rests on the happy piece.

Over the past couple of days, I found myself drawn to it much more frequently. And, last night decided it was time to take a few minutes and sit at Tessa's to send a New Year's greeting to my friend across the pond. That's when I read the post her family was kind enough to put up to let us all know that Tessa had died on the 27th...how very considerate of them to do that.

It's also more than kind of them, when you discover that Tessa started her blog as a gift to her children. A place where she could share the things she loved best...books, art, Africa. Her notions on being a Real Human Being.

Even after so many of us who are not her family began to visit, her family was kind enough to share her with us without complaint. What started out as a singular activity has reached so very far. I hope that the comments we have left about her passing, will help them as they learn to live without her constant presence in their lives. I hope they feel pride and take consolation upon hearing how so many of us have been touched by Tessa.

Now I know, that my constant looking at the artwork for the last day or so, was Tessa stopping by to leave a kiss and a smile as she passed through. She now delightedly stretches her Being on safari in the fields of her new world. I know this. Absolutely. I know this.

As a parting gift from this incredible woman I never knew in 'real' time, Tessa has given me this--I will never fear death again. Never. For now I know, without question, that death is but a portal to our next glorious adventure. For, there is no way that such a remarkable spirit can end just because its body stopped. It's simply not possible. I know we are taught this, but I've never felt it before now. Like a deep, rich bell sounding in my soul, I now know this as truth, not simply an act of faith.

She may be gone from this world but, I can still feel her art, her laughter, her prose, her spirit, her kindness and generosity. I feel them just the same as when she was 'here' with us. So, now I know, not just hope, that the truth of us, the love we have and the dreams and goodness, goes on. It simply does.

Thank you Tessa. I will look to see you again. I know this is true. Happy Safari in your new home and life.

Namaste' Till Next Time,
Holly aka Tessa Edwards' friend


MiMi said...

Holly what an absolutely lovely post and your expression of fondness for Tessa will be inspiring to her family. It will help them to know how she was loved by so many others. I too believe she was passing by to leave you with her presence ... she was indeed a gift in your life and that gift itself was not taken away!

Cinner said...

Holly I am so sorry for the loss of your friend. I did not know her but your words will mean a lot to her family. You and I had just met before my Dad passed and your kindness will never ever be forgotten to me. we are so blessed to have the people in our lives. your post is a beautiful tribute to Tessa. Big hug, know I am thinking of you.

Eva Gallant said...

I never visited Tessa's blog, but obviously she must have been quite a person to have impacted you as much as she did in her life. I'm sorry you've lost someone dear to you, even though you never met her in real life. You certainly have written a beautiful tribute to her.

Sarah said...

Oh Holly I am so sorry to hear this news..I followed her too but did not have a close relationship with her as you did hon. I am so deeply sorry! What a lovely post in her memory! Sending huge hugs to you my dear friend!!
Love to you and sending love and prayers to her family!
Love, Sarah

Big Pissy said...

What a lovely memorial to your dear friend. I hope her family gets a chance to read your post. I'm sure it would touch them deeply.

I'm so sorry for your loss, Holly.



SCJ Jewelry Design said...

What a beautiful tribute to your freind. Even though you and Tessa never met in "real" time, you two met on a much deeper level and gave each other gifts that you weren't even aware of at the time. Memories inspire and the gifts we give each other, in life and in death, live on forever.
Sending love and hugs to you.

Joanna Jenkins said...

Dear Holly, My heart is with you at this sad time. I did not know Tessa but I know from your beautiful words and from reading between the lines that she was a very special person.

Sending hugs and prayer. xo jj

Alison said...

Lovely post. xxx

Sara said...

This was a beautiful post Holly, and I can feel your love for your friend through it. I am sorry for the loss of such a wonderful person. And I know for sure she must have been there visiting you and saying so long for now.

I love you Holly. Take care.

miss*R said...

you have heard me 'speak' many times of Daisy.. my blogging friend - whom i met through our blogs.. we became good friends, very good friends.. soul sisters - within a week of meeting.. I woke oneday to an email from her daughter telling me that Daisy had passed in her sleep. i was devestated.. and it took me along time to move through the grief.. and I did, with the help of my blogging friends..
so dear Holly - I am here to help as you grieve.. these blogging friendships are fantastic but at times like this, they can leave you reeling. hugs to you xoxo

Robyn said...

Beautiful Holly xoxo

Anonymous said...

Gee Holly,
Now I remember why I had a hard time reading your posts at work...they always made me cry...as did this one. You are a true friend to so many, doesn't really matter if you meet them in person or not. God Bless...Donna

PS, now that I have a computer at home (believe it or not, never wanted one), I'm sending your link to my home computer....I really do need to catch.

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