Talk about falling off the radar. Life changes have kept me busy, and writing has taken up space on the back burner, gathering dust somewhere between eating healthy and self-care.

Someone in my community has recently passed away. I’m sorry to say she and I drifted away from one another and lost touch many moons ago. I was saddened by the news of her passing, though – and I’m very grateful to the person who made it a point to reach out to me to let me know.

This morning I received an invitation to her Life Celebration. I must say, I much prefer this term – to celebrate all that a person was and how they may have touched your life is so much more positive than “funeral”. And she loved colours and laughs and many things out of the ordinary. She loved dragons and dragonflies and music and cats. Life celebrations are much more befitting of people who love such things.

As I sat there, looking at the invitation, dread set in. Public events are difficult for people like me. So many things to pick up on, empathically – and that’s on a good day! Factor in a room filled with people who will be mournful, who will be reminiscing and telling stories, and who will be in turns laughing and crying.

I was also faced with the fact that she and I hadn’t connected in so very long. Should I go? And I immediately “saw” her in my mind’s eye, arms spread wide for a hug. I heard, “Of course, you should” in a voice that was kind and dear and chastising, as though I should know better than to ask…

So I will wear one of my FUN outfits, because she would want me to. And I will celebrate her life with others. And I will set the day after as a Recovery Day – which means a day spent in bed, with comfort food and old movies.

The Bruja Roja
(originally published March 13, 2018)