Last week, in the midst of my deep grief, a dear friend flew in from Arizona to spend the day and night wth me. I didn’t know until she arrived how much her presence meant to me.
By deep grief, I mean I wrecked the living room where my Burt lay dying. I couldn’t have been that out of control because I did not break to the tv or the windows, but I shattered a glass coffee table and then I got the glass in my fingers and on my knee. Most of it I cleaned up myself, but dear Leon, also a friend, came and took the carpets away and replaced them with colorful floor coverings.
I did not want to walk into the living room and have visions of what had happened there. Many of you know what I am talking about. I also learned that is “normal” to do what I did. Not everybody wrecks their living rooms but a lot of folks do. It’s a wonderful release.
I don’t want to mention the name of my visitor so I’ll call her “S.” “S” is a teacher who works near the Mexican border. She is not Mexican herself but her husband is Spanish. The stories she told me of checkpoints because where she works is near the border, the Mexican border. They used to go over the border and have fun but no more, too dangerous. She said the corruption is widespread—everyone can be bribed, including our own Americans. No surprise. Humans are all corruptible. All of us. What are you going to do? Get killed by not taking a bribe or take the bribe?
Sure we get reports from the Media, but they are not telling us what is really going on. Everybody is taking bribes or they die. Humans are humans. There are no perfect people
While “S” loves teaching her kids the situation down there is unbearable. Intolerable.
I forgot where I was going with this. Oh yes, of course.
We went to lunch in Burlingame, my first outing with people. When you have taken your partner to “the other side,” things are just not normal inside your body. It’s hard for people to understand, but the ordinary things that irritate them just don’t matter. I had ONE MISSION and that was Burt’s comfort. He may not even have known it was me at that point, near the end.
I still cry but not as much. The tears come at the most inconvenient times. Both Burt and I cried together for months so we held nothing back and I am grateful for that now. But my life will never be the same. Who to trust is a constant worry.
“S” and I had lunch in Burlingame. We were seated next to Congressman Jackie Speier, a woman I admire very much. You probably do. She survived the shooting with Congressman Leo Ryan at Jonestown. Then her husband, an Emergency Room Doctor, was killed in a horrific accident. I recognized her and I had to say something. I had to talk to her. I had to. The first words were stupid but I went back a second time (after she had eaten). I told her about my loss and she said she would send me her book on grief. If there is a woman who has experienced grief, Congresswoman Jackie Speier knows what it means.
She was extremely kind even though I interrupted her privacy. I am sorry but I had to. I had to.
If you believe in “that was meant to be,” you may believe that that was meant to be. I’m not sure I believe that–I do think we move in circles, concentric circles and we do run into people with similar interests, problems, concerns. Yes, that makes sense to me.