Yesterday felt like a scene with Inspector Clouseau and Cato lifted right out of a Pink Panther movie. I got blindsided. Grief leaped out of the closet and we went round and round all day.
The set up was Turbo Tax.
It wasn’t the process of doing my taxes that did it. My finances are much simpler now that I don’t have other businesses to account for. It was the memories that it revealed.
Doing taxes is a mandatory review of the previous year. Most of mine was not very congenial. There were all the medical expenses to track down. Checks were issued to 31 different healthcare providers for their services, and I recall writing each one of them over those 12 months. Questions were asked about her employment and when she stopped working and why. But this wasn’t the real trigger.
It was that damn Kenny Loggins song.
She sings to me now and then.
Always these memories will stay with me
And I'll think of her now and then
She loved Kenny Loggins. In the early years, his CD was always in the car on a road trip. And a song that I thought I had ignored popped up like Cato swinging a pole at Clouseau’s head. It wasn’t the bad memories induced by the preparing my taxes. It was the good ones coaxed out by the music that caused me the most pain.
And isn’t that the way it’s supposed to be?
Grief feels awful because the memory wasn’t. It’s the beauty of the memory that makes it hurt so bad. If there was nothing endearing, life would go on because there was nothing to recollect, nothing to cash in.
It’s supposed to hurt. I hope it will continue. I can’t make new memories with her, but I can honor the ones I have by revisiting them, giving my heart permission to feel every emotion summoned up by the memories and staying seated while they give me instruction.
And I can ensure this by being willing to make new memories in the future. I don’t want to live a dull life, in some desolate safe place stuck in the middle between being numb and fully present. I’ll push toward the latter. Every time.
Nobody drifts to the top of the mountain. It takes a concerted effort to get there. Living a prosperous life full of substantial memories won’t just happen. I’ve got to keep reaching.
I’m a rich man, wealthy beyond dollars.