You may have heard that we lost a dear friend last week. Leslie True Wilson died after a brief hospitalization. We had a celebration of her life. I decided I’d like to share what I said that day (to the 50 or 60 folks gathered to celebrate and express our love to Leslie), as a message to every one of us about how important we really are in this web of life.
I wonder if you’ve ever thought you didn’t matter to anyone.
Just a few days ago, Leslie said she didn’t really have any friends.
I haven’t known Leslie that long, just a few years. For some of you here, you’ve known her for 30 years, or a whole lifetime. So I’ve been a little surprised to see the impact of her loss on me. I don’t know her daily habits or who she was as a schoolgirl, or what it was like to walk with her thru her many years of challenges and how she overcame them. So why did my heart break when she left?
I’ve heard descriptions of Leslie over the past few days. About her stature; how she filled up the doorway when she walked in a room. How powerful her presence was, even if she was sitting quietly. How we knew she had our backs, just from her kind words and strong hugs.
I walked into this space yesterday and felt bereft. Leslie filled this space, tended to and cared for it. Like tilling and watching over a garden, the BC3 flourished under her careful attention. I did too. And I imagine that many of you felt the same way, that Leslie’s love allowed you to get bigger, step out into the world with more of you showing. To fill out and grow your divinity.
I’m surprised to discover that it doesn’t matter that I don’t know everything about Leslie to feel the impact of losing her. For me, it’s like there’s one less color in the world. Like the tapestry of life that I’ve grown to rely on has had some threads pulled out. They are being replaced, I know, by something much bigger and brighter, as her presence moves out from the confines of her body to a much bigger canvas. Like the shooting star Kath and I saw Tuesday night as we were walking home from dinner, I know that Leslie’s magnificence now gets to touch the galaxy.
So–if you ever wondered if you mattered, please take this lesson from Leslie’s life and her passing: you, too are an inextricable thread of life. You matter, as much as a leaf and a grain of sand and a horse and any dog. We’re in this together, forming bonds of love and light. It’s all so brief, isn’t it? As we celebrate Leslie, let us celebrate ourselves and each other. And know that we—these mortal bodies, our mischievous minds, our eternal souls–we matter.