Where Does It Hurt?

Tonight it hits me hard: the losses, the tsunami approaching, the preparation that is less than we need and all that we have. The Zoom meetings pick up tomorrow again. I’ll listen to the bishop remind us about important resources, like online training on how to do a Zoom graveside service and how to practice adequate self-care. My colleagues will listen with me from blue-light squares that flank the bishop’s face. A toddler will enter one frame and begin a high-pitched meltdown before he is ushered out of the room by a big sister. We will watch the child go, identifying more with him than with the bishop or other composed colleagues.

Lately I’ve been having vivid dreams of people and places and moments in time from twenty years ago. In the weight of sleep, I watch my 12-year-old run, turning to smile at me from a baseball field. I see a younger me in a convertible, red, white, and blue bow in my hair, waving from the parade. My mom welcomes me into her home with strong arms and her sing-song voice of joy just because she is happy to see me once again.

I watched a :20 practicum video today from a colleague who is also a trauma specialist. She talked about corona brain and how it affects our ability to find words or organize tasks or finish more than 3 things on any given day. She urged us not to have more than 3 things on our to do list.

I haven’t had a to-do list in two weeks.

Today I moved from anger to depression in the stages of grief which we know are not linear and not over just because we’ve moved on to the next. I like the stage of anger best. I feel productive when fueled by anger.

Tonight it hits me hard. Tonight, anger would require too much of me. I am not destined for anger or denial tonight. I may skip bargaining and acceptance all together, as the first seems like a waste of time and I am too much of a rebel to ever accept this much grief, and this much preventable loss.

Sass asks me if I want to process what I’m feeling. What does it feel like, she asks? “It feels like sitting here holding the broken edge of my eyeglass frame and imagining putting it into my eye”, I say.

She leaves the room and returns with two shots of Jack Daniels Honey Whiskey. She says it will either calm me down, or help me grieve. We toast, silently, downing the amber liquid all at once. She sits in case I want to talk. “You can go”, I say. “I’m writing. It’s how I process”.

She takes my glass and goes to take a shower. And I watch the fire burn.


  1. It is a terrible time, ….to lose your mother. Rips a person apart. That is an event that takes a year or more years or who knows how long to calm down. One does not need to feel the weight of the world at that time. I am sorry for the weight of this worldly trauma. Know that you are doing everything to help your flock. Our two services, Sunday and Wednesday lift me up. We are in this all together, and I think we all help each other, as was evident in the talk of each person speaking on the sidebar Sunday. We each participate to lift up the whole. Heal.


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