friend

My longtime friend, George Roehm, died about ten months ago. He and I met once a week for breakfast or lunch for so many years I have lost count, and we became extremely close. That’s him and me above a few years back.

I received a phone call from his son about 10 days before his death, telling me something was up with his dad.  There was no warning other than that. He had pancreatic cancer and left this world quickly. In the short time I was aware of his situation, we had 2 face-to-face visits and numerous phone calls. It was really fast.

When I visited him in his hospice room, I could feel the spiritual realm palpably. Now, I am not a religious person, but I have always felt a strong spiritual impulse. There was something powerful about spending time with someone so close and with their Earthly exit imminent. It pulled on me, made me feel as though I was actually aware of another world beyond this one. It’s hard to explain, but I will do my best.

When George and I grew close over those years, we learned a great deal about each other. Our relationship was an empathic one, and I think it’s fair to say that we felt and lived through each other’s struggles and victories. Our friendship went beyond two men talking about life, and extended into a deep kinship that included sharing secrets and stories from all aspects of our life histories. Each of us pursued knowledge about the other, with a compassionate yearning that involved a great deal of listening. We discovered each other’s pain points, life wounds, aspirations, and attempted to support one another in the achievement of our individual dreams, many of which were realized over that time span.

And then George left this world abruptly. I felt so close to him that his departure seemed to pull me into the spirit realm, too. I had a strong sense that he was going back where he came from, and a part of me was going with him. It was a mystical experience, to say the least.You never know when your time is up here, or someone close to you will be taking their final leave. The curse of being human is knowing this. And it is the blessing, too, because we can call to mind our love for each other and act on it to give voice to our deepest inclinations.

Who will you reach out to this week? Who will you see, that you might share something meaningful?


“Miracles happen everyday, change your perception of what a miracle is and you’ll see them all around you.”
– Jon Bon Jovi