Today was hard, very hard. It started out innocuously enough. I was supposed to have a 10:00 meeting that got cancelled, so I sat down and did a little journaling followed by my daily 4 minute meditation/ visualization. And that’s when it happened. Tears came to my eyes and all of the sudden I was bawling. Crying like I haven’t cried in a couple of years.
October can be a rough month for me. In a couple of days it will be the 35th anniversary of when I met my late husband, Bo. The anniversary of his birthday was a couple of weeks ago. In January, it will be 5 years since he died – I can’t even comprehend that it’s been that long.
You know, I have felt the grief creeping up on me lately, surrounding me, on occasion, like a fine mist that I can barely see. It’s the tears just behind my eyes at unexpected times. It’s the gotcha of a sudden memory that comes to me out of the blue.
So, today it caught up with me. I sat in my chair and cried for a few minutes – not the howling scream of new grief, but the tears and sobs of that eternal grief that comes out of nowhere and levels me. Since the vast majority of my time now with people who never met Bo, I thought it would help to get out of the house and go to a place where people knew both of us – to my chiropractor’s (and good friend), Dotsie’s office.
Ha. As soon as I drove into the parking lot, I flashed back to the last time I had been there with Bo and I lost it again. But I went in anyway, keeping my sunglasses firmly in place. Her husband, Scott, was manning the front desk and we chatted a bit about the nature of grief and being sad. He’s so very kind that he reminded me about a supplement I could take that we jokingly call the happy pill.
But I said no, thank you. Why? Because over the last 5 years I’ve learned that I really do have to go through these grief episodes to get to the next place. It’s part of the process. And even I understand that this is a process to be respected. I call it sitting with the grief.
As I left her office, I played the Melissa Etheridge song, I Take You with Me, with these beautiful lyrics:
But I have made a promise/ That I intend to keep/ My love, wherever I go/ I take you with me.
People have been saying that Bo is here with me literally since the day he died. By the way, don’t ever say that to someone who has just lost a loved one unexpectedly. It’s the worst because it’s so damn hard to believe that they could possibly be there when they just left you.
Suddenly, I did feel better. I felt so tired that I felt like a weighed 500 pounds, but I felt better. Somehow, those words, “wherever I go, I take you with me” had penetrated the buzz of grief going on in my brain. And it’s true. I do take him with me. He’s with me when I take the initial call from a potential client and when I work with startups.
In my worst moments, when I’m stuck in the quagmire that’s bootstrapping a small business or worrying about the future, I hear him telling me, all those years ago, “You can do this.” And, I still believe him. So I keep going. And, in those moments, I feel comforted. I feel cherished, and I feel blessed.