9 hours ago
Tuesday, January 4, 2011
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
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