Note: I write this on a day that for many is celebration. For me today is bittersweet. Last night, I learned of the death of a friend, someone I didn’t always get to see or speak with but who nonetheless touched my life very deeply.
I cannot even begin to sort or say exactly what it is I feel because there is so much. My dear Friend Praise, you will always be a symbol to me, of what it means to have faith, true faith, despite the challenges that life may bring.
In Honor of Praise
Good- bye Sister
You have blessed us with your Soul
Truly an inspiration, truly a blessing
That undying, unyielding, unwavering strength of your Faith
Your Faith is the reason I shall no longer lament but celebrate
I shall not cry over this or anything for too long,
Nor hang my head will I because I know You’d find a reason
To hold your Heart up High no matter sunny or rainy sky.
Thank you so much for
Inspiring me, I am going to look for you
Now in everyone that I may meet
Thank you, thank you, thank you,
For always being there for me,
Not because I asked
But because I was so much in need.
I have felt such a huge range of emotion since learning yesterday of Praise’s death in October of last year almost six months to the day. I looked at my journals from the day before, the day of, and the day after her death. I was writing much about faith, had a conversation with a neighbor in Hilo that everything was by design and to trust. To believe that God had it all figured. All worked out.
Honestly, I cannot say what will be or when or how, but I do have my faith, I feel strong in that I have experienced the work of something greater, far better than I alone could manifest each day unfolding in my life. I have examined many different traditions, philosophies, and though I am but 30 in this life, I believe that it is all the same. We are all travelers on the same road gathering around the fireplace trying to explain that fire. I don’t understand why joy and sorrow sit next to one another. I don’t understand why love and fear are all around. That’s just how it is. As I walked with tears in my eyes to clear my head, I felt so much sadness yet saw the great beauty of the mountains in Hawaii, the flowers all around me.
If I had to say anything to make sense right now, I would say that there is a choice in it all, a choice in how we feel. The choice to feel life, feel it fully. That is probably the loving thing to do. That probably is the peaceful thing to do. That’s what that blessed Soul Praise would do.
She was so cool because despite our different views on the greater unknown, she was always there at the worst of my ongoing battle with faith. Last year when I got laid off, my grandfather died, and my relationship ended in a month’s time, I remember talking to her and she said she would pray for me. And I believed her, I felt like her faith was going to be a blessing to me. The fact that she believed that prayer would be of support made me feel better despite what I felt or believed at the time. It was before talking with her that I sat down myself and I had heart-to-heart prayer expressing that I was submitting my resignation from the Jason driven train and going all in on the Faith Express that I had long been called to, many, many times.
Here I am today, having gone down the rabbit hole of a still flowing journey of my own, experienced what I dubbed my 40 days in the desert, and am in a place where I feel deeply connected to the Spirit of all things, see that I am growing and how releasing my labels take me further into what I cannot explain but do believe, here I am and she is no longer, has not been for some time. Of all the people, who I would want to share my story, my experience, my unfolding journey with, it’d be her because she never paused, she never stopped believing what she did, and she was always a solid presence in my life amidst the shaky ground, much of my own creation.
And I can’t share that with her, can’t share anything here with her again. Yes, I believe that I can share it with her and feel like it is one more Soul out there taking care of us all. Yes, I view it as a celebration, her Soul’s work was complete in this cycle and she went home, a place she totally believed. But I cannot share another laugh, hear her joke at how I say “Howzit” and “Shoots,” see her love for Hawaii, admire her steadfastness in serving others, take in how giving and loving a being she was.
Life is short. It is precious. I finally feel like I love life a fraction as much as she did. And even more do I see how important it is to share that. Google Praise Goh and you will find a great many other accounts from those who knew her, who were blessed by her presence.
I am honored for the time I knew you, Praise. I am humbled to have known such a great presence on this plane of existence. I will honor you not by missing you, rather I will celebrate (as Yogananda suggested) you by living fully in my own life, and I will surely never again lose faith no matter what life may bring. For you were a mirror of that for me, and now that you are gone, I must remember that such a place exists within me.