Living After Loss

Death is an interesting animal. Unexpected is the relief and hopefulness that arrives sometime after, like a dear old friend knocking at the door. The tendency might be to feel guilty; how is it ok to feel like a kid waiting to get into Disneyland at a time like that?

At the time of my Mom’s death, she drove a brand new Camaro. To be sure, I’d tasted the speed of it and experienced the sleekness of its design. With her in the passenger seat and me with my learner’s permit, she and I’d blast The Lion King soundtrack – the only CD we had, it was the 90s, after all – over the car’s crystal clear, booming sound system. Even now, I can still hear the bellowing start of the “Circle of Life,” “Nants ingonyama bagithi baba!”).

Not even three weeks into having a full-on driver’s license is when she died. Suddenly and on a routine Sunday evening. I felt shocked as my life turned into an uncrewed ship spinning directionless out at sea.

This went on for a time; then, something else happened.

Oddly, the world kept turning. I kept being a 16-year-old with a head full of dreams, on the verge of launching into a life of my own.

And although a large part of my life ended on February 8th, 1998, it also transitioned into something different, something new, and it excited me.

And I’ll be damned. That car, that beautiful white, black-leather upholstery, t-top, zero-to-fast car was finally in reach of being mine.

Or so I thought – my Dad had other plans.

Don’t worry; I did get to drive it a few times. But ultimately, it got sold, and in its place, a Ford Escort with the get-up-and-go of a golf cart equipped with a dumb cassette tape player.

As I reflect, the journey from then to now reads like a book; it’s profoundly moving, filled with themes of overcoming, courageousness, and transformation.

I wouldn’t trade a dang moment of it.

As they say, life goes on; it’ll be different and new, but if you’re open to it could be unbelievably great too.

2 thoughts on “Living After Loss

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