I believe in eternal life. That does not mean that I do not grieve when someone dies. I feel my feelings and then I remember the truth about death. Death is Nature’s way of getting rid of a body that no longer serves us.
My friend, and friend to our Center, Faith Strong, made her transition from this life to the next one in the early-morning hours of Sunday, February 10. I love her and I miss her.
Faith modeled for me what is possible in terms of prosperity, dreaming big, motivating others, and moving through her fears.
Faith is known as the mother of Alcoholics Anonymous in the Soviet Union, now Russia. The idea came to her at a time in which she was being challenged to make a huge commitment, one she didn’t know how to do. As a long-time AA member, Faith knew the benefits of the program. She, like the rest of the world, knew that the Russian people had serious alcohol issues. One of the main tenets of Alcoholics Anonymous is anonymity. In order to go to a foreign country to do this work, she had to give up her anonymity and so would the men and women who went with her. Many people in the program were unhappy with her idea. She was “threatened” for helping the “enemy” and berated for giving up her anonymity. But, in her heart, she knew she was doing the right thing.
Faith has written 9 books, the most recent is The Glories of Aging, a humorous look at the lack of privacy and dignity for our elders.
I talked to Faith 6 days a week and we prayed together. Her faith deepened my faith.
She always would end our sessions with a sincere compliment.
She would say, “You are so good at this! Honey, that helped me so much.”
Her praise helped me so much. Her belief in me helped me tremendously. Her love for me and mine for her was real, and she will always live in my heart.
She is with me and with all those who love her. She is with us when we think about her. Life is eternal.
On Monday of this week, I met with Faith’s daughter, Deborah, to talk about her Celebration of Life. Deborah shared the following piece written by Henry Scott Holland:
“DEATH is nothing at all. I have only slipped away into the next room. I am I, and you are you. Whatever we were to each other, that we still are. Call me by my familiar name, speak to me in the easy way which you have always used. Put no difference in your tone, wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow. Laugh as we always laughed at the little jokes we enjoyed together. Let my name be ever the household word that it always was, let it be spoken without effect, without a trace of shadow on it. Life means that all that it ever meant. It is the same as it ever was; there is unbroken continuity. Why should I be out of mind because I am out of sight? I am waiting for you, for an interval, somewhere very near, just around the corner. All is well.”