Friendship: Not Beyond Words, by Marion (Mugs) McConnell
Have you ever had a friendship that was always there for you? Maybe they don’t live nearby, maybe they aren’t the same age or generation, but they are the best listeners the minute you reach out to them. Years go by and each time you get together or chat it is as though no time ever passed, you just pick up like you were talking yesterday. Or you don’t need to say anything at all.
A friend that doesn’t judge you about your decisions, but can offer feedback in a positive way that becomes constructive. A friend you can count on. A friend that reaches out and sends birthday or Easter wishes, or sends their love every now and then, just because.
I met my friend almost 40 years ago on a Greyhound bus in 1978, right after I had met my teacher Hari in person. I was on my way to the Sivananda ashram in the Bahamas to do my yoga teacher training. We talked endlessly about our lives even though there were quite different. We parted ways in Salt Lake City, but stayed in touch all these years through letters and rare visits.
Well, I lost my friend this summer. He passed away after a battle with cancer. No matter what we learn about death and afterlife through yoga, it cannot take away the sorrow we must work through when we lose such a good friend. But sometimes other friends know what to share with you at the perfect moment, like my friend Helen, who sent me loving words from Annie Besant of the Theosophical Society. (Thought Power Its Control & Culture by Annie Besant, 1903)
Besant teaches that loving thoughts and conversations with those who have passed are incredibly important and helpful for them to make the transition more quickly to the worlds beyond. She says that if we realised just how helpful our thoughts and words are to them – if we had any idea how much comfort and happiness these provide for their transition, no one would ever be lonely through this process.
Her words bring to light the importance of something we often feel silly about doing – talking to those who have left their body. So I am talking to my friend and sending him good thoughts as often as I can. I want him to know just how much I valued this friendship we shared for so long. I want him to know how much comfort his presence, even from a distance, meant to me. And I wish him the very best for the next phase of his existence, whatever that looks like.  I know it will be a good one, because he certainly touched many hearts over his 79 years on this earth.
Om Namo Narayana, my friend.
friendshipMarion (Mugs) McConnell, E-RYT500, is a founder of SOYA and their yoga teacher training. She is the author of “Letters from the Yoga Masters” andhas been studying yoga for 44 years.