Things That Help

Things That Help

A weekend spent with new friends and old — people who allow me to be in exactly the space I’m in, whether that’s having a good time at a party, or getting the thousand-mile stare at the Bar and Grill because we’re sitting right where I last saw Patrick. People who say “how are you” and don’t mean it as code for “are you over it yet.” People who when I say that I currently feel like a house that’s had all the windows and doors blown out, just nod and hug me and we all keep going. Eating delicious hunks of grilled elk at Scott’s birthday party and introducing new people to the circle of friends who have saved my life these past few weeks.

Lunch with Wendy-the-Buddhist in Bozeman, who reassured me that it’s perfectly normal to find that sitting opens the channels to all sorts of emotions one might not want to have, including anger. And that you just keep sitting through it. Which doesn’t mean it goes away, it just means you sit through it.

My old flame, Gary Short, author of Flying over Sonny Liston who found me on the internet the night before Patrick’s Chicago funeral, when I was surfing around trying to find the lyrics to the hymns for the funeral program. Gary who emailed from Albania that he was weeping in the internet cafe and the old men were all staring at him. Gary who is back in the States and coming to stay with me for a week. Gary who will be here for my birthday. Gary who is such an old flame that we’ve been all the way through wild romance to heartbreak and then back somehow to deep abiding friendship. Gary who, it turns out, is actually someone who can be counted on when the chips are really really down.

And this wonderful CD by Alexi Murdoch. Thank you Matt — I cried all the way back over the pass listening to “Orange Sky” (which everyone should go over and listen to right now)… but it was good tears. The kind that help. My salvation these days has been the love of these good people here, and the only silver lining I’ve found so far, which I keep discovering again and again, is that I am not, as I once so feared, alone. That I am being sustained by and surrounded with love.

One thought on “Things That Help

  1. And there are a whole heck of a big bunch of us out here who you’ve never even met, still streaming all good and sustaining thoughts in your direction! Hang in there, Charlotte. I feel as though I am learning through you how to deal with an experience I hope I never have. If not for myself, I have no doubt your words will be my guide in times of need for many a friend.

    Take care,

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