Let’s talk about a special person named Cindy Polger. I know that I don’t have the relationship with this soul that many did. Cindy Polger touched my life on many levels, but I am clear she touched others on a far deeper level.
Cindy took on tasks with a resilient matter of fact approach. I had no idea what she was doing until she said so. She made me laugh. I loved her originality. I loved her commitment to Judaism. I loved watching her with others. Quirky, loving, calling life and all its oddities for what they were, telling us to not settle, being Cindy as only Cindy can be.
I am thinking of that grief that others have shared with me in passing. I have heard the brushing away of the pain, as if it were not acceptable. There is a sense of surreal we cannot fathom. How did this person leave us? It wasn’t supposed to happen this way.
I think Cindy would say “stop it”, at least the Cindy I came to know. It makes me realize we should not minimize our pain. The pain tells us many things — about the importance to live life fully, to not take a second for granted, to live each moment as if the last, and to honor the love we feel for someone truly original and kind.
True enough, the grief involving the loss of anyone is not only profound, but compounded by volumes of knowledge that define our life, the life of the person gone, our own relationship to that soul, and our steps in reconciling the whole darn thing. Cindy afterall was only 58 when she died. In many respects, a far too early end. She’s too young, we think. What about us? What about the years ahead? Will we get to enjoy them, or the grandkids, or dreams not yet lived? Cindy had so much promise. We were stunned by the loss. We are stunned by our own thoughts that life is fleeting and in the blink of an eye taken all too early. Damn, it’s just not fair.
Yet Cindy’s promise is hardly gone.
I learned at Cindy’s funeral of her love of gardening. I had no idea. References to flowers made me smile and I imagined Cindy looking to the light and telling all of us to never forget the gift of life. It inspired this painting of a woman in tulip fields looking to the early rising of the sun.
I think Cindy may be saying: Don’t be sad too long. Life is short. Do me a favor, live life well.
Live life well. It’s a familiar message these past several months. We need to remember, to resolve to remember.
I know that our lives are busy, but busyness can cloud the real opportunity. I think Cindy would want us to rejoice in her life, and to see the end goal that a live well lived is the best life. Somehow, someway, I sense she is smiling, telling us to never forget the joy — of her, for sure, but also the true joy of being ourselves and loving each other with the acute awareness that nothing is lost. Not ever.