The Healing Power of Friendship

June 27, 2012

Wednesday is Stacey Day. With my big move looming ahead, Wednesdays are becoming more precious to me. It’s my friend, Stacey’s day off and if I’m lucky, I find myself plopped at her kitchen table. This has been my “safe zone” for many of my NYC years. Stacey doesn’t have to say “me casa su casa” out loud. It’s her mantra. We have laughed at that table, cried, shared secrets, birthdays and lots of seemingly ordinary but incredibly special afternoons.

Stacey was my rock the day Ralph died and in the months that followed. Ralph had a special place in his heart for Stacey and her children. When Stacey would fret about disaster striking the Big Apple, Ralph promised he would carry all of us safely through the Holland Tunnel on his shoulders. We believed him, and surely Stacey knows he’s watching over her family still.

An afternoon with Stacey is only made more sweet if her children Jasper and Mabel are home. You would think I was royalty for all the love they shower on me. Jasper is an almost five-year-old boy, so his affection is often fleeting, but two-year-old Mabel is my soul connection. When my heart is hurting, I go searching for Mabel. The first time we locked eyes, we bonded. When “Aunt Bwa-bwa” comes in, she runs to greet me and jumps into my open arms. Like it’s a special ritual, Mabel lays her head on my shoulder and then draws back and looks deeply into my eyes. Every time. It takes my breath away. I want to bottle it and take it to Asheville with me. My heart aches right now thinking how I will miss this exchange of pure sweet love.

This is not the first time I have been blessed with such a deep friend connection. My Michigan friend, Mary and I met 28 years ago and we instantly bonded. My son, Brian, was two and Mary was pregnant with her first child, Rachel. We beat a path to each others’ houses and began what would become the most important friendship of my life.

When Rachel was born, I had a similar experience as I have with Mabel. Rachel would crawl into my lap and we would sit quietly. It seemed no words were needed to express our special bond. I was blessed years later to have Rachel and my own daughter, Amy, spend their college years in NYC.

When I left Michigan during one of the most painful times in my life, I carried Mary with me in my heart, and though many years have passed, our love for each other has never waned. When I go back to visit, my seat at her kitchen table where I sat and drank so many cups of tea and shared so much of my life is always left empty for me.

So what do these stories have to do with holistic health and healing? I truly believe that the love we experience in our deep relationships with friends, both in the giving and receiving, has the ability to heal–in the deepest and most profound way. Treasure these friendships as though they are your lifeline. And never discount the power of the love of a child. I’m not a doctor, but if I could write you a prescription I would say find yourself a Mabel to hug and it will be more healing than any prescription drug out there.

Love,
Barbara

28 Comments
  1. Your friends are so lucky to have you. I know! I count myself among one of your newer friends, only a couple of years but a close connection as energy medicine students together. I feel blessed to have you in my life. I’m looking forward to your post a few months after you move to Asheville about all the new friends you’ve found! Love you, Lady.
    Nancy

  2. I feel remiss in not having included my new friends who have contributed so greatly to my own healing over the past couple of years. You are at the top of that list, Nancy, and I am so grateful for our friendship. xoxo

  3. Once again, Barbara, you have captured the essence of your topic with such intimacy, warmth and wisdom. Friendships are one of the great treasures of life, and are surely a great salve to our wounds. And oh yes, the children! they can see straight through to our hearts. Thank you so much for your healing words. I am giving thanks this day for all the friends in my life – you among them!

  4. Once again, Barbara, you have captured the essence of your topic with such intimacy, warmth and wisdom. Friendships are one of the great treasures of life, and are surely a great salve to our wounds. And oh yes, the children! they can see straight through to our hearts. Thank you so much for your healing words. I am giving thanks this day for all the friends in my life – you among them!

  5. Dear Barbara, I enjoy reading your story. It’s written so well. Have you ever considered to be a writer? You have a such talent. Thank you for sharing your story.
    All my love and light to you. Ludmila

  6. Dear Barbara, I enjoy reading your story. It’s written so well. Have you ever considered to be a writer? You have a such talent. Thank you for sharing your story.
    All my love and light to you. Ludmila

  7. Thank you, Katie. I wrote this post as a tribute to the two “in-person” friendships that have altered my life so profoundly. But as I responded to Nancy, I feel remiss in not including my other friends–especially those of you who I have met over the last couple of years via Deborah’s program. There are so many of you who have touched my life and one of the greatest lessons I have learned from all of you is how possible it is to be deeply connected with friends from afar. And when we do come together in person (like last weekend) it just makes it even sweeter! 🙂
    xoxo

  8. Thank you, Katie. I wrote this post as a tribute to the two “in-person” friendships that have altered my life so profoundly. But as I responded to Nancy, I feel remiss in not including my other friends–especially those of you who I have met over the last couple of years via Deborah’s program. There are so many of you who have touched my life and one of the greatest lessons I have learned from all of you is how possible it is to be deeply connected with friends from afar. And when we do come together in person (like last weekend) it just makes it even sweeter! 🙂
    xoxo

  9. Thank you Barbara. I have three girlfriends like that from college days but two live out of state. It touched my heart at a time where I am grieving the passing of my niece. I got to hug my other niece, great and great great nieces and nephew the other day. We all rode this journey together and those hugs in the hospital and later at her memorial helped us all to heal.

  10. Thank you Barbara. I have three girlfriends like that from college days but two live out of state. It touched my heart at a time where I am grieving the passing of my niece. I got to hug my other niece, great and great great nieces and nephew the other day. We all rode this journey together and those hugs in the hospital and later at her memorial helped us all to heal.

  11. Lily (Mathie :) ) June 27, 2012 at 4:04 pm Reply

    Barbara, I could drink your blog posts as wonder prescriptions. 🙂 Loved reading this. Deep friendships like the ones you describe are a blessing – grace from G-d.

  12. Lily (Mathie :) ) June 27, 2012 at 4:04 pm Reply

    Barbara, I could drink your blog posts as wonder prescriptions. 🙂 Loved reading this. Deep friendships like the ones you describe are a blessing – grace from G-d.

  13. Rita, I’m so sorry for your loss, but am happy that you are surrounded with loving friends and family. xoxo

  14. Rita, I’m so sorry for your loss, but am happy that you are surrounded with loving friends and family. xoxo

  15. Thank you, Lily! 🙂 You are so cute! xoxo

  16. Thank you, Lily! 🙂 You are so cute! xoxo

  17. So true Barb. Thank you for sharing.

  18. So true Barb. Thank you for sharing.

  19. Wonderful heartfelt essay, Barbara. We are truly blessed with great friendships. I must include you if I am to list people who have been refuges in my life! It’s not your kitchen table; it’s your couch! Thanks for all of the great overnight visits and all-too-short days running around New York.

  20. Wonderful heartfelt essay, Barbara. We are truly blessed with great friendships. I must include you if I am to list people who have been refuges in my life! It’s not your kitchen table; it’s your couch! Thanks for all of the great overnight visits and all-too-short days running around New York.

  21. Life would be nothing without the power of love and friendship. And I agree: nothing can compare to the unprejudiced love and the wondering mind of a child, teaching us so much about the art of living. Didn’t know you were planning to move: wish you all the best at your new place and great new friendships and people to cherish! x

  22. Life would be nothing without the power of love and friendship. And I agree: nothing can compare to the unprejudiced love and the wondering mind of a child, teaching us so much about the art of living. Didn’t know you were planning to move: wish you all the best at your new place and great new friendships and people to cherish! x

  23. Dear Cococita, I just saw your beautiful response! Thank you :), and I hope you are doing well, my friend. xoxo

  24. Dear Cococita, I just saw your beautiful response! Thank you :), and I hope you are doing well, my friend. xoxo

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    Cart