Before, After, and All Around, There is Love

Another great has fallen. These days I find myself saying a long goodbye to Jennifer Stacey. Somehow with the way pandemic life has warped time, it seems that this saying goodbye is different that others. I have more moments of quiet solitude than I used to; with those I can sink deeply into the long tendrils of Jennifer’s impact on my life. While I’m apart from so many people, I am also a parent so I have hardly any longer stretches of time in which to write and reflect; which means that my unfinished ideas and memories shimmer through whenever there is a moment of open mental space.

With Jennifer’s passing I cannot help but marvel at the mysteries of life and death. I cannot help but feel humbled in the face of all that we do not control. This is sobering given that we were fellow contrologists. For all that we can do to support our healing and care on a daily basis, there are strong forces that can quickly surpass our control. I am reminded to take care and to do my best with what I have; and to keep focused on that which is important and leave all else alone.

It has been so long since I’ve posted here in this space because I’ve gone on a few different journeys since the period when I had regular time to write. As I considered how to say goodbye, I realized that it had to be here in spite of my long absence. I remembered how this was the space that I used to mourn the passing of my teacher Romana when parenthood had isolated me from nearly every person in my Pilates world. And how this space gave me a way to grieve the early passing of a dear client when I was again alone in missing her. I think of her often still. And I know that Jennifer will stay with me too.

I found Jennifer to be exceptional in her kindness and honesty. With her, they went together. She knew enough about so much that she could have success no matter what. And still, she chose to do the work to be kind – yes to be truly kind takes great effort. She shared her extensive knowledge generously and with unfailing optimism. She showed me what it is to be steadfast in honoring ideals.

Yesterday I joined in a memorial for Jennifer organized by her husband. I was so grateful to be able to celebrate my love for her with others who were also touched by her love and generosity. To know that I am not the only one who feels grateful for her ongoing presence, to be able to cry and laugh together, and to share a hug was a blessing.

Jennifer remains a wow person for so many of us – she seemed to be continually aware of the love that is the basis for everything. May we each carry her with us in how we share love and kindness with those who we meet and work with. Yesterday will help us do that.

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