yesterday while gathering at a celebration i met the mother of a boy, B, who knew my sister. my sister and B had done a program together in high school; they traveled to Europe. B's mother had been talking to my momma & poppa before i entered the kitchen & conversation. she had said to my momma, "you look familiar..." when my momma said, "i am..." B's mother said, "my [B] knew your [daughter]...we were so sorry to hear about [her] death..."
this intersection. the never ending connections. god, we are so not alone.
i asked this tender soul of a mother what B was doing these days. one of the things i learned was that he had been in South Africa this past academic year (for a semester or year, i don't know?) and had plans to return. i think B is a year younger than my little sis and has one more year of college left...
less than 30 minutes later, B's parents, who had made their way to the backyard/pool area, came rushing towards the house. B's father was on his cell phone; B's mother alongside of him, pressed against him. i stood on the back porch watching. in an instant, B's mother was standing in front of me. she grabbed my arm (desperately holding on) and looked directly into my eyes. she said, "B's girlfriend was just killed in Tanzania. B just found out and we are on the phone with him right now."
[i later heard that B's girlfriend was killed in a car accident.]
all i could say (for minutes) were the words that i spoke over 13 months ago when i received confirmation that my sister, my bella, died suddenly (she became sick & died within hours) in Africa: "oh my god." 13 + months ago i dropped the cell phone on the chair without hanging it up and i walked around in circles in my parents living room with my palms pressed against my head and all i could say was, "oh my god. oh my god. oh my god."
still i can hardly believe that i was a witness to, a part of all of this. last night before sleep i wondered, "did that really happen?" is this really happening?
i am thinking about how deeply connected we all are. how un-separate we are. how connected life and death are. how continuous it all is. and, i am remembering. how swiftly & recklessly & certainly life can change.
i don't even know all of their names. i only know B's name. i don't know his girlfriend's name. i don't know his parents' names. and, it doesn't seem to matter. all that matters is that i honor our connection. this intersection. that i am holding all of these beloved people in my heart.
tonight, as i practiced yoga and the energy moved i cried and i cried and i cried for all of us. for our families and communities. for how radical life can sometimes be. how disorienting. for how human we all are. and, as i prepared to complete my practice i dedicated my practice to B, to the one whose name i did know, and to his heart.