Where Grief Hides
Where Grief Hides
I was sure my first traffic ticket in over 16 years was a sign. After all it was about that long ago since I had last seen my adoptive mother, an estranged relationship that I couldn’t fix. Trying to hold back the tears, I mumbled, “It figures that it would happen tonight.” My To-Do List that day was to race through the 1-year anniversary of my adoptive mother’s death by running errands and keeping myself busy. I am sure if I looked on her death certificate that the exact time of her passing would be the same as that speeding ticket. And I don’t even consider myself superstitious, only jinxed.
The pain in my heart snuck up on me like the white, unmarked van hiding in a speed-trap on the side of the road. I felt tricked, no reader-board warning me from a distance that the speed limit had abruptly changed from 45mph to 30mph, but only a blinding white flash lighting up a particularly dark, rainy night.
“You just got a ticket,” my husband informed me. “No way,” I sighed. Looking quickly down at the speedometer while grabbing the steering wheel tighter with both hands I shot back defensively, “Great, I knew I couldn’t make it through November 7th unscathed.”
Finally, I had resigned myself to the fact that I had totally blown it. With a hint of defeat in my voice, I apologized, “I am sorry Sweetheart. The cost of a speeding ticket couldn’t have come at a worse time with you losing your job in only a few short months.” He wasn’t upset with me; I was mad at myself.
Grief seemed to come from out of nowhere as well. Staring intently out at the wet pavement, I cautiously made my way home. But just as it had all day, the forecast of intermittent showers turned into another wicked downpour. Even the windshield wipers couldn’t stop a flood of my own emotions. Barely able to see out the car window, I wanted to pull over and cry for all the “What if’s?”
“What if I had not dragged my husband out to shop with me in this bad weather, only to end up with some lousy traffic fine? What if I had just slowed down and faced my deepest fears, instead of trying to run away from the painful truth? What if my adoptive mother had not been abusive much of my life and I didn’t have to grieve in darkness for my loss?”
I am a part of my first Blog Carnival, a welcoming group, hosted by Peter Pollock http://is.gd/58D4f This week’s theme is Grief. Please go to Peter’s site to read other blog entries and/or to join.