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Batter Down The Door

When grief knocks, facebook is a battering ram.

Rising from bed amidst boxes and packing tape, it rose with me. Familiar grief. Here you are, I thought. It's coming.

I knew full well that Grief wouldn't leave until I let her in. I braced for the moment she would unleash her sorrow.

While my teenagers were still asleep in their beds, I began packing my room for our move next week.

(If you are sick and tired of hearing about my move, I get it, I promise it will end soon. Consider this a metaphor for your own epic artist journey - we all must leave and then grieve the comfort of familiar places, people and things, and the habits and beliefs that are tied to them.)

I went through every drawer and the closets. I tossed everything I haven’t worn or no longer fit - which I am not ashamed to say - was a lot - into donation bags.


Then I opened the cedar chest at the base of my bed.

There they were. Still safely tucked away -- colorful shirts and vests my husband owned in the 1980's -- Cow prints, southwestern prints, modern art prints.

In the chest too, were are all of my husbands coolest t-shirts from his college days. My daughter pilfered through those a few years ago.

Only one remained.


A black and torn-at-the-neck t-shirt from Club Babyhead in Providence, RI which I pulled out and unfurled for her ceremoniously. This one? I asked her. It's ripped at the neck, I said. She nodded gleefully and snatched it. I pulled out some leather gloves and a few ties for my son and packed the rest neatly in a box for consignment. I closed the chest and sat down on top of it! That was when I opened Facebook. I know. I know! But I did. I saw a picture of an old friend in the most beautiful of places. I scrolled to see where she was. Images of mountains and flowers so spectacular and spacious floated up on the screen. Blue, vast sky overhead. There she is with her girls, I thought. Oh, do they look like her, so sweet! I continued to scroll. With the next flick of my finger I was leveled. A photo of a teenaged daughter embracing her father the way we imagine girls do, with exuberant joy and playfulness, and on an inexplicably epic mountain top. Bam! Grief battered down the door. I don't say I am grateful to Facebook very often, but for this release I was. I woke up with grief, but I did not tend to her. In that instant she poured out of that little space the photo opened and I let her in. After that, she was gone. She’ll be back again. And when she is, I might just reach for Facebook to batter down the door and let her in. When have you needed a battering ram to open up the door to grief so you could let it in? What was it?

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