If I climb out the window, my mind will be free. I don’t have to drive my truck home. I just have to think myself home.
And that Negroni will be iced and waiting on the counter.
Susan is sitting in the living room. She never really died. They just told me she did ‘cause I was a really bad influence on her even though they always told me I was good for her.
But I showed them all and outlived most everyone. And then started over.
Well kinda, lots of things never change. Maybe they should change. I need to walk on the beach.
Horses would rally around me and lift me on their withers and charge through the waves breaking on the shore. We’d head for the sunset that would never set. We’d be forever heading for it… Until it abruptly becomes the sunrise.
I’ll have to go back to work tomorrow, won’t I? But now I don’t have my truck at home and I don’t know how to get there.
Can I call a shooting star? I’d get there really quickly. Ok, I feel better now. But I’ll have to go to work before the sun rises or the star won’t pick me up. Maybe I can call the horses back.
Starfish are beautiful. But they smell bad if we take them from their homes. We don’t even realize they are at home and they become sad and die when we love them and want them as our possessions.
Maybe the star would die too. I wouldn’t want that.
So maybe I have to go home through the great big door in the front of the building – not out the window. NO! I refuse. I’ll find another way.
Doors are confining. Windows are the answer.
The window to my soul wants to open. I’m not sure if it wants to let something out or let something in. So it kinda jumps off the tracks sometimes. Then I can’t get it back on the tracks and when it rains water leaks all over the floor. What a mess. And sometimes spiders come in and the cats play with them. But the cats never clean up after themselves.
If I could I’d have twenty cats. The litter box would have to be ten feet by ten feet. And they would all have to follow the number one rule: cover that shit UP! Whew.
When I come back in my next life I want to be a cat.
I’m an overfunctioner. I just learned that word this morning on the way to work while I was listening to Brene’ Brown’s Rising Strong (a must-read for anyone who considers themselves part of the human race).
I recognized my own tendencies as Brene’ was describing the person who “does” instead of “feels” in the face of grief. Good lord – the very definition of debi in times of sorrow! I push aside the horrible overwhelming feelings and “take care of things.”
But not only that, by taking over so much, I allow others to fall into underfunctioning. According to Brene’, when someone becomes an underfunctioner they fully feel, they allow others to do for them – all the things that I fight so hard against for myself. Underfunctioning can be a two-edged sword. It can encourage drowning in sorrow, depression. But, and this is a big BUT…
Underfunctioning can also be a blessing, one that I need to somehow embrace. I allowed, probably encouraged, my now incredibly capable daughter to be an underfunctioner during times of grief. And it burned her with searing pain at times – feelings she often didn’t know how to handle. But through the years she has figured out how to make a balance. She feels (so much more than I do) grief deep in her soul, accepts it and then she takes baby steps, bigger steps and finally walks boldly away from it. My grief follows me, haunts me, tries to rise above the surface and I just keep pushing it down with to-do lists.
As I was typing this, I listened to Joe Biden speak of not knowing whether he will run for president. I admire the man – he is feeling his grief and not embracing an overfunctioner’s attitude. He stated honestly, with heart-wrenching pain in his voice, that he doesn’t know what he will do, whether he will run for president of the United States. With only a few words, Vice President Biden laid his soul bare to the world. “True bravery and bad-assery” as Brene’ would say.
When will I allow myself to fully feel like Mr. Biden and my daughter do? Will I ever allow it? And if I do, will I ever recover afterward? I think that is probably what I fear the most.
But! I have an extensive support network and I’m intelligent and could navigate to health. Maybe I’ll truly convince myself of that and get there someday.
Nine members of my family and almost four-hundred other persons. BA flight 2069, December 28, 2000.
It’s not something I think of often, but my daughter, Rachel, recently posted on Facebook a dramatic re-enactment of the hi-jacking causing a flood of memories. It made me wonder how others on the flight were affected by the experience.
Here’s one article with comments from fellow passengers:
I distinctly remember my heart pounding so loud and slow that other sounds were drowned out. I’d never felt as calm as I felt in those moments – and I’ve never felt that since. I knew we all were on the verge of death, and I was thankful all nine of our family were together so none of us had to face the pain of life without the others. I accepted my fate as easily as I would accept a hug from a loved one.
Does that sound callous? My husband of twenty-two years, the father of my children, had died suddenly in an electrical accident six months previously. Russell, Rachel and I were still reeling from the loss. For me, the contemplation of imminent, sudden death was not at all frightening.
If you were on the flight, what are your memories?
If you weren’t on the flight but have had a similar experience, please share.
I moved out of Texas — a one-and-only time — October 10th of 2002.
I was back home by October, 2003 racking up 10s of thousands of Delta miles in the interim. (Also, thousands of rental car miles between Salt Lake City and Ashton, Idaho – one of the prettiest stretches of highway that exists.)
I missed my kids, my friends, my home, Texas… but I had been hell-bent to run from bone-deep grief. So determined, that I married a potato farmer and made that move to the farthest eastern portion of the Snake River Plain butted up against the Grand Tetons.
Jeff and I had a chemistry that was palpable. If that hadn’t been the case, I would have been home long before those twelve short months.
That year was a lifesaving gift. I made forever-friends and gathered family that I still consider family. My only regret is that I disrupted the lives of two sweet girls, Allison and Kelsey – for that I will always be sorry.
Why do I delve into this?…
This morning, I headed out to clean my garage… and my hands, of their own volition — free from any thought processes, started unpacking boxes from the Idaho move back to Texas. These boxes had been stacked in my garage all this time; I’d managed to shove their existence to the very back of my brain for 8-1/2 years.
So why unpack them today?
My guess is because my life will be entering a new adventure in the next year or so. I’m now engaged to one of the best men who ever lived. He loves me – sometimes I’m awestruck by how much he loves me. He loves me so much that I am for the first time in my life free to be ALL of me. And since some of this “ALL of me” is rather raw, I’m amazed he tolerates me at times.
My first husband, Gary, died almost twelve years ago. Jeff died more than three years ago. I still grieve for Jeff, and I will never finish grieving for Gary and the more than 26 years of full-to-bursting life we had together.
I’ve made mistakes on my long path of healing, but each mistake has taught me more about life, more about me. I’ll keep on making mistakes and keep on learning. Life never stops giving in that manner unless we quit receiving — this I believe with all my heart.
Well, the garage is cleaner than it’s been in years. Trash and recycle bins are brimming for Monday’s pickup. Boxes are stacked ready to go to storage. My hands are blistered, and this beer tastes great.
There remains one banker’s box from Idaho to explore. Maybe in another 8-1/2 years…