In loving memory of Rick “Wigs” Ludwig, a man I called my friend, student, and teacher. No one is ever truly prepared when a friend, family member, or pet passes. I am a realist and know people age, get sick, and accidents happen. The shock of their passing and the loss you feel takes your breath away. You have a hard time rationalizing the loss. You want more time, days, months, and years to spend making memories, learning from each other, and sharing stories. There’s the feeling you should have reached out more, and now it’s too late.
Our feelings are real. You should feel free to express your feelings and welcome the support of others. You may also want to explore your spirituality, practice self-care, and be kind to yourself. A good cry may also be helpful. Then honor your loved ones to help in the grieving process. Sharing with others all the beautiful things you know and love about this person is one of the most beautiful things you can do.
I would love to honor Rick by sharing a little about our friendship. We met many years ago when he was a student in my Friday morning yoga class at Yoga Jai Ma. He was a regular and loved to show off his flexibility, but he took his practice seriously. He appreciated what yoga taught him and what it did for him mentally and physically. After class, Rick and I would chat, and that’s when he shared that he volunteered at a thrift store refinishing furniture. He encouraged me to look at some of the items he had done. I loved working on wood projects and was fascinated by what he did. I also had a table that needed refurbishing, and the project was too large to tackle alone. Next thing you know, Rick came and picked up my table and was working on it. The piece turned out beautiful, and as I write this post, I look at the coffee table with tears.
But remember, I said, student and teacher. I had more projects to do, and Rick decided the following projects I should do by myself. So I packed my gear and showed up at Rick’s house, and he set me up in his driveway, and we would work on our projects together. He was highly knowledgeable, and he had the patience of a saint. He was also willing to research and try something new even if he hadn’t done it before. Once, I asked him to help me replace the caning on a dining room chair. He had never done it before, but he figured it out, and it turned out perfect.
Rick also loved birds and plants, especially ones that brought the monarch butterflies around. Soon he was captive-rearing monarch butterflies like a pro. Rick loved good restaurants, movies, riding bikes, hiking, traveling, and motorcycles, to name a few. He was excited but nervous when I bought my motorcycle and ensured I was doing everything as safely as possible.
Rick loved his family and spoke about them often, especially his beautiful grandchildren. I loved hearing about his visits to see his brother and their adventures. He enjoyed sharing beautiful pictures of the labyrinths he walked and how knowledgeable his brother was about them. I enjoyed hearing stories about his glory days as a pilot and the crazy things he did. Rick was honest about what he had done and could have done better. I admired his honesty, openness, and how he moved on and didn’t let things in the past destroy his attitude about the future.
This man mentored and volunteered and remembered you with virtual cards on every holiday. He sent emails expressing his gratitude for the beautiful posts on our blog and how they touched him that week. Everything I knew about and learned from him barely scratched the surface of his life, but it meant the world to me to have known him for the time he was in my life. I am blessed and honored to call him my friend.
Please read Rick’s obituary if you would love to know more about this special person.
“Sometimes people come into your life for a moment, a day, or a lifetime. It matters not the time they spend with you but how they impacted your life in that time.” – Unknown.
By Lisa C
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