Happy birthday, Grey Cat

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A Facebook email this morning included the usual list of friends’ impending birthdays, including one for my mentor Grey Cat, who passed away two years ago. It is a strange feeling seeing someone’s name and picture smiling at you from a birthday list. For a moment, I saw Cat’s picture smiling and I reached for my phone to call. Her number is still in my Contacts list.

I stopped, caught myself. Felt the subtle swirl of emotions as I remembered the memorial service two years ago. Right about that time, a friend of mine messaged me with a note that it was Cat’s birthday. He was upset too. We spent part of the day talking about Cat and what had happened since she had passed.

I like to think that Cat would be happy with the paths that my friend and I are on. We’ve used what we learned from her as stepping stones on our own paths. We’ve taught others along the way when appropriate. In our own ways, we have honored her memory through what we are currently doing.

We both resigned from NorthWind, the tradition that Grey Cat founded, because it was no longer our home and because nothing had been happening in the group for months. Even when my friend and I had tried to encourage activities to rebuild the community of initiates, we met with resistance and disinterest. We tried for a year after Cat died to get things moving and nothing happened.

Some times the best option is to vote with your feet instead of putting energy into activities that go ignored. My friend and I both voted with our feet, a year apart. Not one person commented upon my resignation letter on the public mailing list when I resigned this past March. I had hoped for something, even a “keep in touch” from people I had known for almost 30 years.

Silence some times speaks volumes.

I miss Cat a lot at times like this. I miss the friendships and community I always found at her place within the Trad.

So many things passed away with her.