A Confession

It’s Thanksgiving in the USA. Or what has this year become another desperately needed American shopping day in the land of money.

It was a normal work day for our team as it was for the rest of Canadians.  Just back from Denver with my mother, I waded through 500+ emails to discover one buried in piles of spam– an old friend from my high school days in Sydney is dying.

Even all these hours later I am still weeping.

Not just from staggering sadness that he is dying, but facing my failure as his friend. My failure to follow through as I promised three years ago at our class Reunion to be ‘ears and eyes’ to his words. My failure to allow him to trace his journey of searing pain and heartbreaking beauty, surviving life’s bleakest disappointments.

Regret burns. Shame at my own carelessness. Selfishness.

A belief that there would be time… tomorrow… next month… next year. But time never waits; it has to be seized and squeezed.

And now there is no time. Greg lies in a morphine haze.

I could justify my own life’s rolls and twists over these past thirty months: the death of both of our fathers, the wondrous joy of our married children joining us for a year, two new granddaughters, a huge animation (and team) almost going down, an exploding business and meaningful work with women. Plausible justifications.

But the awful truth is I let him down.

I weep as I turn over each piece. Jagged shards. It would have taken so little effort on my part.

At my urging he began to write chapters of his life. And rewrite them. He trusted me as conduit. Greg has always had a brilliant mind. A world-class writer, his voice will now never be heard.

He sent this beautiful letter after my father’s death.


I read your Email about your father. I am very sorry for your pain and grief, but also have a lot of admiration for you at the courage and dignity you showed.

People today talk of “closure” and perhaps for most that suffices. I disagree; there is not a closure at the physical death of someone, it is simply the completion of a circle of life. We have many life circles, all joined by love.

You and your father’s circle of life began when you first held his thumb as a just born baby and he felt such a rush of love and protectiveness towards you. Your father’s circle with you was completed when you again held his hand, this time as a loving adult daughter at his leaving. Circles do not end, they continue, hoops of golden memory to those here and those who have started the next journey. 

In any case your father is walking the Milky Way to the Belt of Orion and once there he will undo the Belt to be showered with the light of a thousand stars, gilding his soul with eternal, silver radiance because his life circles have been of family and love. He will shout with happiness at the memories of you all and you will feel that shout, Nancy.

Be kind to yourself.


About a year ago Greg stopped sending chapters, sensing I had no more time. No more interest.

He was right. I had let go of the rope.  I missed the flutter of his hand as he slipped under the waves.

I doubt he holds a grudge or blame. Disappointment was what he had come to learn of life.

But today I promise myself that I will never let go again. Of anyone in my life to whom I have given my word.

And I will listen for his shout of happiness and wait for that showering of a thousand stars as he undoes Orion’s Belt.

I wonder if he will say hello to my father…

I am broken tonight, but giving thanks.




Love to hear your thoughts.

Think8 is an international Business Design Firm in Montreal dedicated to helping businesses and people realize their full potential to achieve meaningful success on their own terms creating a dynamic whole for life and business. We use a dynamic system of 8-steps that, when applied in sequence, allows you to bring everything you know, have lived or ever dreamt of living into focus and alignment.

Read More


I am a professional woman who loves being a woman, who loves working with women and who loves challenging the status quo to help other women speak up, stand up and thrive.

Read More

Keep In Touch

If you would like to receive my monthly Life Letters sign up here.