For Linda…

Linda died a few months ago.  She was 66.

I met her 25 years ago when I lived in Hawaii.  I found out via a text message from a friend who still lives in Hawaii.  I tried to get some answers.  There were none.  I’ve called her phone numbers.  No answer. 

I’m not sure what I’m looking for, but I know that some of it is the chance for closure and to tell someone in her family how special she was to me.  I didn’t get that chance with her.  That I regret.

Last night I had a dream about Linda.  I woke up to look for her obituary…still looking for connection…still looking for answers.  This is what I found:

“Linda…., 66, of Aiea, Hawaii, died on April 12, 2018. 
She was born in California.  No services.”

That’s it? Are you kidding me?  I got angry.  The deeper truth?  I got really sad.

So today, I write my eulogy for Linda…

Linda was the first person that I met when I was trying to get sober.  She had five years of sobriety.  I thought she was Superwoman.  She was amazing; not just because of her “clean” time, but because of her gentle heart and bigger-than-life spirit.  I really don’t know what I would have done without her in those early days when I was barely hanging on.

Linda showed me compassion.

When I was beating myself up for being the worst person in the world, she was compassionate, kind and calm.  She didn’t judge me.  She shared some of her own challenges with me.  She helped me to feel human which, I promise, I didn’t.

Linda was loving and nurturing.

I felt unlovable and completely unhuggable in those days.  It took a long time for me to start loving myself.  Linda loved me, supported me, hugged me, and helped me feel connected.  She and her husband adopted two children who were in the foster system, both from drug-addicted mothers.  Her heart was enormous.  She inspired me.

Linda was funny.

She called me her Little Kumquat, which means she called me her little fruit.  Then she would giggle.  The name wasn’t so funny…the giggle was hilarious.  Linda helped me lighten up on myself.  She helped me not take life so seriously.

Linda was honest.

She was as real as they get.  If she was down, she said it.  If she was up, you knew it.  She spoke it as it was, and I valued her honesty.  I valued her authenticity.  She didn’t know how rare it was to be a person of deep truth.  Things were always real with Linda.

Linda was chronically depressed.

She was the first person I knew who struggled with depression…the clinical type.  She would stay isolated for days, weeks, months.  I’m guessing she rarely came out of her house the last few years.  Much of this was her depression, which took a huge toll on her.  She was honest about it.  She helped me understand and have a deeper compassion for mental illness from her personal perspective.

Linda had Multiple Sclerosis (MS).

A few years after I met her, Linda started to have numbness in her legs and other physical problems.  She went for testing and was diagnosed with MS.  She underwent weekly treatments, eventually ended up in a wheelchair, and became more and more isolated.  It was debilitating, as I’m guessing it is for those who have MS.  Those of us who loved her felt helpless.

I transferred from Hawaii in 1995 when I was in the Navy.  My plan has always been to get back to live there again someday, which I will.  Knowing that Linda was there was always comforting.  I’ll miss her.  The last few years, we’d had less and less contact, some of which was me thinking there was always time, some of which was her depression and illness.  All of which, I regret.

I don’t know where I’d be or who I’d be without her kindness and love in my early years.  I’ll always be grateful…I hope Linda somehow knows that.

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Published by Karen Solt

I am an Emotional Wellness Coach, YouTuber, Blogger, and activist for peace, unity, freedom, equality and connection. I hold a Masters in Psychology (Counseling) and am passionate about helping others. A retired Navy Senior Chief veteran, I have had various life experiences that have created my unique style of coaching. I remain curious about the human experience and am beyond grateful for the life I share with my fabulous dog, Paco. You can learn more about me and my work at KarenSolt.com, https://www.youtube.com/c/KarenSolt, or you can reach me at Karen@KarenSolt.com.

4 thoughts on “For Linda…

  1. Karen, That sincere, sweet sentiment written about your dear friend Linda brought me to tears. What a truly remarkable human being she was in engaging with you and helping you through your struggle with sobriety, a d reclaiming your life from the addiction of “living in the bottle” the (haze) of alcoholism. You were a great light in my life in the Navy when I worked for you. I just never sat still long enough to meet up with you for a cappuccino and look across the table into your lovely (non-judgmental) blue eyes and tell you what you mean to me as a person, as a coach, as a mentor, as a friend. You always had a way of building me up, and analyzing where I was in my decision-making with work, with food, with relationships, with my abuse of alcohol. And after your “analysis” you would display that sly grin on your face, and you would say…..

    “How’s that workin’ out for you”?

    You always seemed to re-focus the spotlight on what the true issue/problem was, so I could fix the issue/problem.

    You mean the world to me.

    Much love, Michael Brandau.

    1. Hi Michael, First, it’s really great to hear from you and thank you for your sweet comments. Linda was special…very special, and I will always be so grateful for her. l certainly miss her and she had a huge impact on my life. I’m glad that I could share some of what I experienced with her…with you. Thank you for letting me know that some of that had a meaningful impact. I loved being in the Navy, but mostly because of working with Sailors. It was a pure joy to work with you and I hope all is well and that you’re safe.

      Today I know, by re-focusing the spotlight in my own life, that the “real” issue/problem is always this: We are hiding. All of us, in our own way. Join me on Hideology.com, as I’m moving away from this website. Share your thoughts and comments. Tell me what you’d like me to address about the ways that you hide.

      Mostly know this: You are very special to me as well.

      Love, Karen

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