There are many thoughts that go through my mind and heart throughout the day. I am referring specifically to grief. Grief is a lot like the waves of the ocean…. there’s:
- High Tide. This is where you are swept up in sadness and there is not more dry land left.
- Low Tide. You actually feel guilty as it, for a time, feels normal and you are caring about things that have no meaning whatsoever.
- Sneaker Waves. This is where you are mid-sentence and things seem to be at bay for a bit, and then it hits you all at once and you are a misty mess.
- Under Current. This is where you allow your thoughts to take you to deep, guilty places, that do not do any good anymore.
We are on day 6 of losing my brother Paul. In fact, as I write this, one week ago to this moment life was completely normal…I was at a dinner in Colorado, and my brother was getting ready to take a pre-dinner dip in Nevada. These days now are filled looking back, looking forward, and looking at the tide tables.
I am only one who has experienced loss – there are many, many others. So, I can only speak of my own tide tables. Here are some of the highlights of my tides of today:
- Went to Costco today and realized the last time I went to Costco I was with Paul. We divided and conquered. We laughed. We talked about the different people that are at Costco and how they handle their carts. I showed him the awesomeness of the chicken salad… today I found myself staring at places in Costco we stood together.
- This morning when I got up, I passed the chair that Paul would have been sitting in with his coffee and his iPad. I would be agitated as the guest room T.V. would be blaring Fox News …. Oh man, would I love to hear that T.V. blaring now.
- I took a walk with Bogey… and remembered walking the neighborhood with Paul. He would usually field a few calls on the walk… and it was always good to hear his plans for his house and yard.
- I needed to send some pictures for Paul’s service. I came across many photos that I had forgotten about. A hunt he took Charlie on, a basketball game of Hudson’s, Thanksgiving, a hunt he had in Colorado, a trip to Black Butte, Bandon Dunes, and finally him coming to Las Vegas airport as I had a 45-minute layover and he said – “I’ll come down and we can have a fast cup of coffee.” And, we did.
I would give anything for saved phone messages, old golf scorecards, and pictures that were texts and not in my photo files. What was yesterday’s discards, are todays treasures.
What would I say to you today? What insight do I have on day 6? Simple: Life and relationships are precious. They are more precious than you even know. Are you thinking now of different choices you have before you in the coming years? Do you do this trip? Should you make that call? What about writing that letter? My answer is simply to make decisions based on the rubric of the preciousness of life and relationships.
Make the most in the mundane – I would love to have that last stop at Dunkin Donuts with my brother. We debated hard over whether to have one donut-hole or not… today, it’s not even a decision. Get the donut-hole!