On November 20, 2010, my friend Cheryl died of cancer.
Cheryl knew everyone. EVERYONE. We would stand in line at a movie theater, and she would immediately start talking to the person behind or in front of us. Within 5 minutes, Cheryl would have connected the person in line with someone else that they both knew; she simply never met anyone who was not a friend of a friend.
I moved to St. Louis, Missouri, at the tender age of 21, and I did not know a soul. Cheryl was the first person to extend a friendly hand. I was starting a career in television advertising, and she sold radio advertising. We were both EST graduates, and we met at a special guest seminar. We were committed to building our careers and to solving the problems of the world as long as we could have fun doing it. Our lives fast forwarded and our relationship had pauses, but we kept in touch. Cheryl never lost touch with anyone.
We all know that, when Saint Peter met Cheryl at the pearly gates, they immediately began to compare notes about who knew who and what in the world were they up to now. Cheryl was a networker extraordinaire, connecting people long before the Zuckermeister* was born.
The most common way to express our condolences when someone dies is to say, “I’m so sorry for your loss.” Perhaps we acknowledge that the dearly departed is no longer suffering, or maybe we encourage the person to be happy that their loved one is all holy up in heaven. These sentiments are accepted with the love that they offer, but the fact of the matter is that we did not want the person that we cared about to die. Even when our mouths speak the appropriate words, our broken hearts have a hard time fathoming that our dearly departed could find a better place to be than with us. When I told Cole that his dad had died, one of the first things he said to me was, “Mom, Dad’s dying really sucks.” Good grief, it sucks that Cheryl died.
Cheryl, you once stood up in an EST seminar, and shared that you planned to make a difference to the people around you and to the community that you lived in. Congratulations, they “Got It” Ten-fold.
By the way, rumor has it you were in heaven for a good 30 minutes before the devil knew you were dead!** Thank God! ♥
Cheers! My Friend!
*Zuckermister= Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook
** Irish Saying