La Otra Susana

For my friend Susan, who went home to God far too early in life.

When I showed up in nunland, you became my first friend.
You stayed close during my challenging novitiate, even
though you were 3,000 miles away. Your promise that you’d
read my emails and not tell anyone what I wrote (and perhaps
most importantly, not try to fix anything) may have saved me.

I returned to Seattle when you left for El Salvador, so
our friendship continued by email and yummy Thai or
Indian or Japanese or Chinese food when you were home.
Then you came home and I went to Chicago first, then New Jersey.
The tradition transferred, and it was when I was home that
we had our dinner dates.

When I think back to our friendship, it’s those meals that
stand out. Not the food, but our delicious conversations.
Your listening ear. Your laugh. The fact that you always called
me on my bullshit. That time when you listened to me vent,
ad nauseum, about whatever it was. And then, when we had
paid the check, politely reminded me that friendships were
mutual, and when was I going to ask about you.

Lesson learned.
An important one, that I am grateful for.

So much to be grateful for really.

Tonight at your vigil service, my memories were mirrored
in what others shared. Your friend from high school.
Another stranger who became a friend. Coworkers.
Your friend’s teenage daughter. (I was waiting for the
dog catcher or waste management professional to
go to the mic.) We all felt loved and known by you.

You were a light for others. One that shone brightly if but
only for a time in my own life. An important time.

Gracias, la otra Susana.

Paz

2 thoughts on “La Otra Susana

  1. Beautifully composed Susan. Thank you for sharing your heart. It speaks for us all. Every life blessed by the touch of Susan Dewitt has much to go forward with. Wow! What a time our gathering was. Lightbulbs flashing via the stories of how vastly and deeply she connected, nudged and nurtured. Living into the grief of loss and remembering to pay it forward. šŸ’•

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