Sue didn’t want her picture taken. Instead she wanted her husband to be honored. We tried to capture it in the bright morning sun. But meet Leif, who went by his middle name Daniel because no one ever pronounced his name right. A commonality I share with him too.
Two things about Sue. She lives across the street from the park where I take my dog to play in the morning. And she talks to angels, which I also do on those dog walks. Needless to say, the conversation was overheard.
Sue told me that she has always been able to feel the spirit world, and since she was a little girl has always had premonitions that panned out to be true. So have I. But I don’t often share that with people right off the bat because…well because I’d like the conversation to continue. She asked me if I believed in angels and spirits. I said, “Of course I do. I can’t believe in God or the Holy Spirit if it wasn’t true.” And that allowed Sue to open up and share her story with me.
I learned that Sue lost her husband in 2001 and has never really recovered. “Nothing good ever happened to me sense.” I didn’t buy it. I would come to discover later that there were plenty of good things, she just wasn’t able to see it. “I talk to God every day but I get nothing,” she told me trying to explain why she lost her faith. Again, I didn’t buy it. She still prayed. And still had a unique connection with a higher vibration or energy or spirit world.
Sue sees, and feels her husband’s presence from time to time, she knows something is out there leading her way. I suspect the dark veil over her heart is difficult to see through or hear God speak. I suspect the angels are there to lift it off. But I just listen. That’s what Sue needs and that’s something I can give her.
Stress has always been a part of her life. She worked for years on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. Eventually she and her husband moved to Maui for three years. They had no kids but plenty of pets. But right now she doesn’t have any pets or anyone in her life.
There is so much more to Sue than someone who speaks to angels, or hangs out with other people’s dogs, or being unemployed again, or only having $1.90 in her bank account. But like it’s been with so many of the people I have met this year, I cannot share publicly her truth, her pain, and her grief. However, I was able to share those things with her.
As she talked, I realized how much our paths were similar. I was able to offer my experiences with her to let her know I understood. It was those experiences that allowed me to be fully present and truly compassionate. At the time I was experiencing that pain or going through my suffering I had no idea who Sue was. But now I do. I know her. And now I know why. It’s KNOWvember after all.
I say this because Sue asked a question so many people ask me when the conversation turns to my faith in God. That is, “then why does God allow bad things to happen to good people.?” I didn’t tell her it might be to give us a voice or a connection to compassion for sharing later on in times like this. Nor did I tell her that bad things happen to bad people too. Nor any of the other fluffy platitudes we say when we don’t know what to say to a person. I didn’t need too. I simply met her in her question and shrugged my shoulders with her.
As we parted ways, I began to think that maybe we go through stressful situations so we know how to sit in someone else’s stress, take it upon ourselves for a moment, if only so they can have a break from it. After all, isn’t that what angels do?