At a birthday lunch with Heart of Life colleagues this week, we were talking about friends.  “Who is the first person you would you call if something really bad happened to you?”  For two of us at the table, the answer was someone in a different country, which surprised us all.

The conversation moved on to death and dying.  One of the team told us about a family custom which began when a close friend of hers died many years ago.  Since then, when there is a birthday in her family or friendship group, there is a call for ‘birthday speeches’,  where you wish them and then tell them why you love them.  We returned to the office, and did just that for our Heart of Life birthday celebrants.

This week a dear friend of mine died.  She was a prolific texter, and for the last 5 months, we shared texts back and forth almost every day.  In that time, we have discussed her illness, our families, world events, Doc Martin and most subjects in between.

As a result of the birthday lunch experience, I sent my friend a birthday speech (a day early) telling her why I loved her.  She replied with what was to be her last text to me.

I thank God for the lunch, for the depth of conversation that can occur when you share with others at a spiritual level, for the intuition to send my friend a ‘birthday speech’ text, and for her love that gave me so much to celebrate and be thankful for.

-Clare Shearman, Director