The other day I had a patient approach me and boy was he bent out of shape. He was frustrated and I was the recipient of his frustration.
Now, I wouldn’t say I have the thickest skin, I’m actually a bit on the sensitive side, but he triggered me none-the-less. What he said was cutting, but I did my best to diffuse the situation – which I believe I did a good job of. I waited until after he left and before I knew it, I was standing outside crying. Hard.
I didn’t even know why I was crying. Am I depressed? Do I hate my job? Was I having a breakdown? Why was I so upset over some disgruntled customer? What he said was pretty harsh, but was it cry worthy??? Not really. But all I knew was that at the moment, I was a hot mess.
I pulled it together, took some deep breaths, and pushed down tears for the remainder of the work day. When I left, it started again in my car. I felt so deeply sad, but I couldn’t put my finger on why.
What was going on with me?
It wasn’t until the following morning as I was taking a shower…it hit me.
The day before had been exactly four months to the day when June died. It was the 19th. How did I miss it?
Now it was beginning to all make sense.
I stood in the shower thinking. So, this is what that saying “be kind, you never know what someone is going through” feels like. Of course, I know what it means, but now I know how it actually feels and perhaps why someone made up that saying. It will be one of those lessons I will always try to keep in mind when I feel upset as a consumer or dealing with fellow humans.
Be kind, you never know what someone is going through.
I packed up for my day, releived I discovered the source of my tears and also grateful for the life lesson. From there, I headed back to work.
Fast forward and I’m with one of my regular, more happy-go-lucky patients. At one point she couldn’t find her cash so she quite literally dumped her entire bag out on the counter. And that was when I saw it.
Ban de Soliel.
If there was ever a beauty product that reminded me of my mom, it would be Ban de Soleil. It’s an orange sun bathing gelee and it smells like a summer day from the 1990’s. June loved sunbathing. It was a sign.
Oh my Gosh, my mom used to use that all the time, I said to my the patient. In her Marge Simpson voice she replied, oh sweety, here, have it!
And handed me a tube – I smelled it. Well, you know what happened next, right? The hot mess express was back in action. She asked if my mom had died and when I said yes, she gave me a hug and then handed me the whole damn ziploc bag full of six rolled up Ban de Soleils. It was one of the most touching things anyone has ever done for me.
The point of all of this is – there are days when grief will drop on you like a ton of bricks, there are days when something small will set you off into a spiral of subconcious grieving.
Grief can feel controlling and uncontrollable – but I’ve learned along the way that there is incredible strength and so much to learn from it. Grief adds to the human experience that I would imagine only childbirth comes as close to or even with.
I joke that grief is bi-polar. One day can feel like a dark, black cloud is looming overhead and the next can quite easily feel like sunshine. It goes back to going with the flow of the waves of grief. Sometimes it will dictate our emotions, but I feel if you acknowledge them, feel them out, and let them do their thing – you’ll whole heartedly experience that part of the human experience – that part often sucks – but is unavoidable in this journey we call life.
Grief has taught me to look inward – to explore how I handle situations. To allow myself to be more human – to be a hot mess at times.
It’s interesting, I’m starting to become quite friendly with this semi-former nemesis of mine…..