Klein_Yves_Untitled_blue_monochromeI came home from the memorial service and the sudden ability to stop moving forward allowed the gloom of death to penetrate the surreal veil that had hung over the day up until that moment.  A fast-falling dusk descended like a shroud over Los Angeles and my heart.

I lay in bed and yearned to nap, to escape the truth of a boy who’d valiantly said good-bye to his mother; to a noble man who spoke of a marriage, a profound love and the blessing of a sparkling child in terms of borrowed time, for she’d nearly died twenty-four years earlier and, upon coming out of a coma, pulled an about-face on marriage and family and jumped in with both feet.

While many knew her as a brilliant scholar, I knew her as a mom in carpool lane.  Sure, we’d talk about heady ideas sometimes, but parenting, along with an abiding love of dogs, forever moved her from her brain to her heart.  Beyond her erudite books, the testament to her life well-lived is the amazing poise and heart of her son.  This alone gave me a sense that our worst collective parenting fear—that our children might not be alright if we cannot see them to maturity—in this case at least seemed safely at bay; this young man, so loved by his friends and family, will certainly manage to heal and to flourish.

During her fight with cancer, Anne had asked us all to visualize deep purple-blue light as a healing color, I kept seeing International Klein Blue as well, but alas the color spectrum could not change the flow of the river of life. 

“Knowledge can be communicated but not wisdom.  We can find it, we can live it, we can be carried by it, we can work wonders with it, but we cannot utter or teach it.”  Hermann Hesse, Siddhartha.

Anne was a teacher, and very knowledgeable, but as a mom and as a friend she managed to live wisdom.  Through her battle for life, and in her transition to death, I have felt Anne’s spirit.  I felt it today, and I feel it now as I write these words.  As I dropped onto my bed for a twenty-minute nap, I felt Anne’s spirit, I felt her non-shaming voice saying something to the effect of “you’re tired?”  Given what she’d been through, her suffering and her bravery, and by the lamp-lit glow casting the preciousness of time upon the wall I felt her spirit saying, “get up, be with your son right now.”

And so I just listened.  I popped up, not in denial of sorrow, but in life-affirming response to it.  On the right path, and in this micro way, I found renewed energy, and I’m here to say that whether or not this post is any good, at least it comes after fun time with my kid, after food, after helping him study the water cycle, the carbon cycle and the biomes.

If Anne had an over-arching message in her work and in her life it seems to be a lived-by-example clarion call to go through the window of intellect and side-line observing and into the lived here and now field of connecting, loving, laughing, savoring and parenting.  Perhaps we honor Anne’s spirit, and in turn allow ourselves to be nourished by it, through making today a connected, loving, laughing, savoring and best-Self parenting sort of day.

Namaste, Bruce



6 Responses to “Anne”

  1. Michael Says:

    Beautiful post, Bruce.

  2. Darlene Says:

    Very poignant. My heart goes out to you and Anne’s family.

  3. Chris Says:

    I am so sorry for your loss.

  4. privilegeofparenting Says:

    I felt Anne’s spirit in yoga class today, and I send all our good wishes along to her husband and her son.

  5. krk Says:

    I too feel Anne’s spirit and the connection she has made for all of us. Thank you.

  6. Katrina Says:

    A beautiful tribute to your dear friend. I join you in honoring Anne by today consciously striving for parenting that is “in the now”, connected, and filled with love and laughter. My thoughts are those of healing and togetherness for you and for Anne’s son and husband.

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