The first time I lost a friendship, I grieved heavily. Later with practice this process became easier.
“When you part from your
friend, you grieve not;
For that which you love most in him may be clearer in his absence, as
the mountain to the climber is clearer from the plain.” ― Khalil Gibran, The Prophet
Along with my daughter Laurie, I have had great practice in this philosophy stated by Gibran. Here is a partial history of moving my daughter to fulfill my work as a “spiritual guide”.
I was lucky to have a stable upbringing with only two minor moves before entering college. As opposed to my daughter, due to my “calling” I moved her/us 32 times in 21 years. Fourteen of the earlier moves were within the same network/community to different rooms, efficiencies and apartments between two locations. Laurie never complained then or during the later moves that included three countries. Between ages 7 to 21 the moves were to 12 different homes in two foreign countries. Except for two major changes in The Netherlands when she lived with one family as I taught in Austral-Asia and then with another family for several months as I got settled, her schooling and our network only changed with the country changes. And much to her Norwegian teachers’ stated disgust at me pulling her out of school, she re-visited our Dutch friends for a week in the fall, a week in the spring and then again in the summer. She always adjusted quickly to new classrooms and loved her old friends and her new friends.
However, the day we settled into an apartment back in the states and our container of familiar Norwegian furniture arrived, she glared at me and ordered me: “Don’t move me again. You’ve moved me too many times!” Nine years later she agreed to move one more time with me when I purchased a home and again 8 years later as she herself chose to move into the L’Arche Community. During the last 5 years within the L’Arche community we both have experienced being clearer in the absence of beloved friends who worked and lived as assistants within the community.
We are grateful for our many friends. We love reconnecting and appreciate those friends in their absences.