Message from a dying friend *


(* and we are all dying friends) – by Jeff Foster.

sunset behind tree

I don’t want your answers, your good advice.
I don’t want your theories about ‘why’ or ‘how’.
I don’t need your pity.
Your attempts to make me feel better
only make me feel worse.
I am human, just like you,
and crave realness.

Just be present with me. Listen. Give me space. Hold my trembling hand, sometimes. Your attention is so precious to me. Your being speaks volumes.

If you feel uncomfortable, don’t be ashamed. If you don’t know what to say to me, that’s okay; I feel that way too, sometimes. If you feel disgusted, angry, uncertain, fearful, that’s okay, I love you for it. You are human, too.

Put your textbook learning to one side now. Don’t try to have ‘unconditional positive regard’; it feels so false to me. Forget ’empathy’ – I want you to come closer than that.

See, I am you, in disguise. These are your broken bones, your shallow breaths, your twisted limbs. I am your mirror; you are seeing yourself.

Don’t try to be strong for me. I am not a victim. Fall apart, if you must. Weep, if you need to weep. Mourn those shattered dreams, those lost futures. Let the past slip away too.

Meet me here, now, in the fire of presence, with the fullness of your being.

I speak in an ancient language now.
I want you to be a witness.

From a Facebook post: Message from a dying friend – 28 Dec 2021

Jeff Foster

Jeff Foster is an author, poet and teacher.

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