Weighing in with much less baggage

On Saturday, my college kid and I filled 126 plastic eggs with goodies and hid them outside in the farmyard.
The little peppers and their moms, along with my parents, were expected for Easter dinner that night and the first-annual “Granny’s Easter Egg Hunt.”
Easter this year was an extra fine celebration of gratitude for me even though I was missing a certain someone.
It was one of the first years I had stepped forward and offered to host Easter dinner. And as cook, I had beginner’s luck whitewashed all over me that day.
My glazed ham, orange-glazed carrots, and homemade hot cross buns emerged from recipes unscathed and to the table in fine order, along with my mom’s yummy specialties of scalloped potatoes and deviled eggs.
I don’t think I could duplicate the perfection of that meal nor the groaning satiable comments that followed.
Afterwards came the “Hunt,” which I planned post-feast to avoid “The Hunger Games” sequel playing out as little children poked in all those jellybeans before eating a proper evening meal.
To my recollection, the dogs were outside while we devoured our supper—their noses pressed to the screen door pining for a scrap of ham or flung bun from a highchair. What I didn’t know as I poured over my meal with saliva and a smile, however, was that “Dot” was indeed pasted to the screen door while “Cash” was nowhere to be found.
I expect that during a pee break, Cash had sniffed out the scent of sweets emanating from the 126 grassy-knolled eggs we had placed them in.
More than 20 of the prizes were scattered from their hiding places—snapped open with the precision of a chipmunk’s dexterity and emptied of their contents into the canine stomach.
Skulking dog syndrome ensued as I shook a pointed finger at big black dog and uttered some lower form of improper English to the mutt who clearly had no clue what he’d done in the 15 minutes prior to my madness.
He just sat there burping up sweet fragrances of strawberry and pieces of purple gummy bears.
Life changes in an instant every day. More and more I’m learning to accept that some changes have few better options under my control than my attitude towards the thing.
I still get caught up in the muck and buck like a wild donkey sometimes, but I really work on my outlook these days.
I remind myself of the outstretched pointed index finger of “Celie” (played by Whoopi Goldberg) in “The Color Purple.”
“Everything you done to me has already been done to you.”
It’s my wisdom warning statement that reminds me that my reaction to the actions of others, or to life in general, is my karma.
The late mystery thriller writer, Arthur Somers Roche, once penned, “Worry is a thin stream of fear trickling through the mind. If encouraged, it cuts a channel into which all other thoughts are drained.”
I concur.
At 7:30 a.m. on Monday, April 9, in my diary I wrote, “I am struggling to compose myself in the face of my afternoon counselling session today. This is causing me the most turmoil I have felt in nearly 12 weeks.”
At 10 p.m. that same night, I wrote in my diary: “My counsel session was not as bad as I anticipated. I cried and said it out loud [my undelivered communication to Jon] in front of my counsellor and I felt better immediately. Immediately.”
I’ll be the first to admit I was a skeptical about this part of the healing process of recovery through counselling, but I’m also the first to admit it’s been a life-changing event for me. I am—by my owning it—free.
Truly I am free.
I’ve worked very, very hard since January to find some peace in the face of the half-stitched scars that ooze unspeakable pain following a suicide. If my brain and my heart could form calluses from working a program so hard, mine would have them.
Not only am I one of the many “left behind” by the tragedy, I was the one who came home at 4:30 in the afternoon that day and found the dark truth.
Suicide shreds the soul and slashes hope, and creates unspeakable black crypts of self-doubt.
The nine minutes that followed that hour as I waited for the ambulance to get to my neck of the woods were the longest of my life. They have been weighted and judged on self-deprecated scales, along with the 402 days that preceded it, as I searched desperately to directly blame myself for what I did or didn’t do that affected Jon’s choice.
In the end, I come up empty and I am filled up with gratitude.
Thanks to loving myself enough, and to Riverside Counselling Services, all of this horrid treatment of myself is over and I am free to experience this process without guilt and remorse and regret.
I am free.

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