The Light Bulb Moment

The second round of birthdays, death dates, and holidays have come and gone. Grieving feels like an unwanted yet ever present constant. Sometimes it’s front and center, other times it fades into the background, but still it lurks. It was during this time I careened my way into a light bulb moment.

It was New Year’s Eve. I know I know it is so cliché. I wish I could take credit for planning my launch into 2016, but trust me if I’d written the script it would’ve been much less sloppy and embarrassing.

A delicious italian meal downtown with a group of new friends was a promising start to my New Year’s Eve celebration. From there we walked to a concert line up of three great bands, including a friend of mine as the opener. The concert venue had two levels with several stairs separating the dance floor from the bar area. I remember tearing it up on the dance floor as my friend played. I don’t remember how I teared up on the stairs leading away from the dance floor, but tearing up quickly turned to uncontrollable, inconsolable sobbing.

I woke up in the morning with one overwhelming thought, “I will never let that happen again.” While I don’t do public emotion, I’d allowed myself plenty of moments for feeling and crying so this caught me completely off guard. Grief had control, not me. It chose when it politely waited in the wings and when it roared in unwelcome and announced.

On January 1, 2016 I determined grief would no longer embody me, it would sit beside me. It wasn’t until years later I fully understood this to be my light bulb moment. This somewhat unconscious change in perception and my relationship with grief changed my life moving forward. Without realizing it I’d shifted gears from The Haze into new territory.

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This is the twelfth installment in a series of articles based on, “Good Grief – Embracing Life and Giving Good Support” a talk I gave on May 22, 2019. You can get caught up by starting with the introductory article here.

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