Ode to a Friend…

ode to a friendAs a Spiritualist Minister, you would think that my work with death, dying and grief would prepare me for the inevitable losses I experience in my own life. You would be wrong.

Earlier this year, a longtime friend passed away… suddenly. Although I have lost friends before, her death shook me up more than I would ever have imagined. Over the years, I’ve lost friends to accidents and illnesses. I even had a friend take her own life. But the passing of my friend of almost 25 years was different in several respects.

The first difference was that I had never lost anyone so close to me. Both of my parents have passed as well as my only sibling, but as fate would have it my closest ‘relationships’ are not connect to me by blood. The second difference was that her death is the first of a friend who ‘just died’. Of course losing someone to an accident is similar in that they ‘just died’ as well. But the accident can be pointed to as the cause of death. But this is literally an example of here one moment and gone the next; a spotlight highlighting how brief (and unpredictable) our time is here on Earth.

I spoke to my friend the night before her passing. She talked about her plans for the future, and how a situation in her life was finally resolving itself. There was talk about possible vacation plans together. We laughed and dreamed like we had our whole lives in front of us. Little did I know that within 30 hours her life path here would be over, and she would take the next step on her spiritual path.

Her presence in my life will not be easily replaced. She had an infectious laugh and an almost child-like naivete about the future. Her optimism was not unfounded either. Things just seem to work out for her in far more many instances than not. She loved life. Loved learning and growing. She cheered on those around her to learn and grow and love as well.

In all the years I knew her, I never saw her cry. Sadness and heartbreak were a call to arms for her. When life threw a monkey wrench, she used the adversity to assemble her new life never looking back with regrets or sorrow. Her ease and grace could be maddening at times particularly to people like me who spend too much time in their heads. I don’t want to portray her as perfect, she wasn’t. But she knew she wasn’t perfect… and her gift was she didn’t expect anyone else to be perfect either.

She traveled the world as a recognized practitioner/teacher in Kundalini and energy healing. I would get pictures via email with her in Beijing, or London, or Toronto… wherever the demand was, she went to meet the opportunity. And, she did so with gleeful expectation and a light heart. A lesson I think all of us could learn from. In the end I recognize that my friend died just the way she lived; on her own terms. She was done, so she quietly slipped away for whatever the next adventure was that awaited her.

I write this not as a goodbye to Susan, but as a grateful acknowledgement to her presence and influence in my life.

I teach spirituality in a classroom, Susan walked her spiritual path everyday, lived it with every breath she took.

Until we meet again my friend


Aug 14, 1957 – Feb 5, 2016

By | 2018-09-18T16:38:25-06:00 April 29th, 2016|Denver Psychic Article|3 Comments


  1. Jim May 3, 2016 at 9:50 am - Reply

    Thank you for this blog post Chaz. Susan opened up a whole world for me. We met on the phone in 1991 when she enrolled me into my first personal development seminar and have been friends ever since.

    We were friends, co-workers, roommates, traveling companions, and spiritual guides together. She stood right beside me during a couple of critical moments in my evolution as I was making terrifying breakthroughs. I would not have made those breakthroughs and not be who I am today had Susan not been in my life. I am forever in her debt.

    As a birthday gift one year, she said that she would only see me in my true divinity for the next year. It was a profound gift that I particularly needed that year. In reality that is how she always saw me, seeing me beyond my limitations, imperfections, self-doubts and struggles and only seeing me as the “little soul in the sun”.

    I love the grace and respect that you have for her and that you demonstrate in your loving words. With shared grief, I join you in honoring her life, her laugh, her optimism, her perfect imperfection, her joy and her ability to see the best in all those around her.

    Namaste Susan.

  2. Susan Snell May 3, 2016 at 12:50 pm - Reply

    Charles,deepest condolences on the loss of your dear friend Susan. I suspect that what you saw in her, she saw in you. You may not get pix of the far corners of the earth anymore, but I suspect she will get in touch. It sounds like you two shared the same teaching style, lighthearted with a twinkle in your eye and a promise of laughter along the way.

  3. Kathy Dench May 4, 2016 at 7:52 pm - Reply

    What a sweet and loving tribute to your dear friend, Susan. What a gift her presence was on this plane and continues to be from her new dimension. I, too, had a friend, the love of my life and with whom I had reconnected over the past few years of his life, who left suddenly and unexpectedly at age 58. I know the devastation well! One thing I do know, is that he is with me daily and has a big role to play in the rest of my soul plan. Knowing that still doesn’t make it any easier because I can’t just text or chat in the physical anymore. Thank you for sharing your loss and thereby helping others to heal from similar losses. Thank you for using your gifts to help those who are hurting from a loss in their lives and for teaching so many of us how to do the same! Hugs!

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