Sunday, January 21, 2007

Still With Me

Words are always difficult for me to express, but I want to add my voice to the chorus of so many who have memorialized Joann in this blog.  This heartfelt outpouring of love and recognition of Joann's enormous contribution to so many will be one of the songs her life sang.
Five years ago I began my journey at Haven.  Joann was there for that first, raw experience, cradling me as I wept and opened.  Joann was there, fully present, for my last course this past March.
I saw your shining spirit Joann, which only seemed to grow stronger over the years.  Your pain did not define you and I marvelled at that courage, tenacity, and took heart in it.
I loved your clarity, directness, feistiness, truthfulness and humor.  But most of all I loved the way you loved and took such care with each of us.  You knew when to push, but not too hard.  I love how you laughed, smiled and winked knowingly and inclusively.  You were smart and at a time when my trust and faith were waning, you spoke words born of experience, stuggle and wisdom.  Words I could trust and believe.
Beginning this summer your image kept popping into my mind.  I would respond by sending a little prayer for your healing, accompanied by gratitude for your being.  I felt awkward about trying to articulate my feelings so just kept my thoughts unexpressed.  Until a couple of weeks ago, that is when I awoke and knew that I needed to let you know how important you had been in my life.  My first e-mail ever to you was sent January 5, 2007.
Now you are no longer here.  I am glad you are no longer in pain, yet I am sad.   Throughout each day and for a very long time each night before falling asleep I am remembering you.  I am surprised by the depth of my grieving.  Logically it is unreasonable, given the limited amount of time I was in your presence as a student.  Yet here it is.  You nurtured, inspired, encouraged and challenged.  You asked no less of others than you did of yourself.  I loved you for all of it.  
 Now, rest sweetly,  and in the words of a great teacher......
"Bless your bones"  Joann.
Lovingly,  Anette G.


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