Sunday, January 14, 2007

Radiant Spirit - Loving Women - Deep Soul

Almost 16 years ago to the week, my first experience of Joann.  --  first was her quiet, deep, presence that penetrated and spoke so loudly to me – embodied in it was an unfamiliar sense of acceptance and compassion – so full that it caught my attention and curiosity in the midst of my confusion. … then without words, her solid, focus and grounded touch, communicated to me how important it was for me to learn the same at that painful change-point in my life.


With that introduction Joann became a guide through many of my most painful times and a mentor into many other wonderful areas of my life. To me she was teacher, mentor, colleague and friend. Joann, by being so completely human and fully personal, while clearly maintaining her awareness of boundaries and roles, offered me a richness of connection that was unique. She also has shown me more possibilities for fully engaging in my life with a depth of heart and level of responsibility that is rare.


I continue to learn to step through my insecurities, fears and times of doubt with the inspiration and thoughts of Joann. In moments of ‘not known what to do next’ with others, I have often simply thought of Joann and easily opened to what to comes next.


I think fondly of the many hours spent together; talking, learning, discussing, laughing, resting, crying, sharing stories of loved ones, wishes, dreams and hopes, of celebrations, disappointments and angers - both hers and mine. I recognize my missing of her in the last few years as her health became more compromised, and my time with her less. Yet in my concern and recognition for her, I was complete.


My smile, my warmth and amazement ran deep as I learned that Joann was heading to The Haven for Anger, Boundaries and Safety, in November – I knew it meant a lot to those who were attending from the Staying Alive , and even more so, I was aware of Joann --  her love of her work; of touching the soul’s of others, of offering her loving, her connection, - which when received was truly healing; I know it if for myself and am privileged to have heard it through the many stories from others. Her spirit is immense and potent.


I feel so grateful and honoured to have walked such a brilliant path along side Joann for the time that was given and received – both ways.


To her family; I am sure you will miss the wonderful women she was… and I hope that you drink deeply from all that she has contributed to this world.


Joann, I am wish you rest gently now – knowing you were deeply loved.

With all my heart,


(Cathy Wilder)





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