Most of us have met people who have had a profound impact on us. I have been blessed to know many people who have brought joy and light into my life. I have always wondered why I have been so fortunate, and how I can honor my relationship with these joyous people.
Little did I know when my friend Joe invited me to lunch several years ago that it would become one of my most favorite activities. I met Joe’s mom, Nadia, who cooked the most wonderful Lebanese food for us. She later read our coffee cups, of which she was very accurate. Nadia was like a butterfly – flitting from person to person, sharing her kindness, and always giving in her caring, loving and gentle way. She reminded me very much of my favorite aunt. Although I could not speak her native language, and did not share the same culture, I felt that I had known her for a very long time.
Last week, Nadia died in her sleep at the age of 73 while visiting friends and family in Lebanon. Upon hearing the news, I was saddened that I will not be able to further interact with her on the earth plane and receive blessings from her joyous light. Even though I was very sad, I felt grateful that she had shown up in my life and I had the opportunity to get to know her. She will be missed by many.
In the context of Tending to Your Garden Within, it is important to find ways to honor those “butterflies” that bring joy and love to our garden within. Honoring is not about collecting pictures of butterflies or putting them under glass or on a wall. Honoring is about transforming ourselves into a butterfly that is a source of joy and love to other’s gardens within. The poem below conveys this concept further.
Honoring a Friend
A friend that you admire has left the earth plane.
How do you honor such a person after death?
Honoring a friend is not about wearing dark clothing after her/his death.
Honoring a friend is not about prolonged crying after her/his death.
Honoring a friend is not just about attending service at a
church or mosque or temple after her/his death.
To honor a friend necessitates knowing what
attributes you admire in him/her.
To honor and cherish a friend
is to walk in his/her shoes
by keeping his/her attributes that we admire alive.
To keep the attributes of a friend alive
is to exhibit those admirable attributes in our own lives.
How do you want your friends to honor you?
Copyright @ 2011 by Shervin Hojat