Phyllis passed away Thursday night. I don’t want to be too specific, but she lived across the street from us. She was so much more than a neighbor. She showed up at our meeting a few years ago. The few years before that, we couldn’t help noticing the police, the fights, the devastation. Then, for the past several year, the healing, the calmness (I won’t go so far as to call it serenity), the hope. Her husband told Carole that he is grateful for the last years he had with her.
I have so many thoughts and reflections about it. I’m so grateful I got sober young, and so grateful my whole adult life has been spent in AA (both sober and not). There simply wasn’t time for Phyllis to really get better, although I think she did experience at least one miracle if not more.
Although she’d only known the folks of AA for a short time, they have been some of the most dedicated friends in her life. I hope she picked up at least some of the tools of the program and that they eased her way.
Why do we have such a hard time with death? She was here, and now she’s not. She never will be again.
I walked my remaining dog past Phyllis’ car Friday morning. I wonder if the last time she drove it she know it would be the last time. The maple trees are shedding their polly noses on to the car, seeking to reproduce themselves and make new maples.
Selfishly, I wonder how long it will take me to adjust. Selfishly, I cling tighter to my sobriety, hoping I am truly taking the lessons I can from the examples of active alcoholism. (I don’t know if I wrote about it or not, but someone up the street, someone unable to “get it,” died last month at 51).
Selfishly, I have had enough of death in this season of spring. The three I was waiting for and dreading have come to pass. Each, I have to remember it, came in old age, in the best possible circumstances with family and medical assistance and every kind of support possible. My world has changed too much (for me).