Humans are story tellers. We tell our children stories to teach them important lessons. We share stories to pass along traditions. And when we are thinking about the ones we are grieving, those stories remind us why that connection will forever be rich for us.
What stories are we sharing? What are we telling ourselves and others?
The past few days my husband and I have been on a bit of a getaway to the Wisconsin Dells area. Yesterday, we decided to have lunch at the beautiful River Walk restaurant. Oh my gosh, the memories it brought back for me.
A couple of years before my son Mike died, he invited me to go see George Jones with him. Mike was probably 21 at the time. Of course I said ‘yes!’ and we both began to get very excited about the concert.
On the day of the show, we had storms. I mean serious storms in the shape of tornadoes hitting our area. Branches and trees down everywhere. Mike and I spent most of the day in the lower level of our lake house, watching the winds over the water and wondering if the concert would be cancelled.
A few hours before it was to begin, it seemed as though the storms had abated. And so we got in the truck and headed to town.
The closer we got, the more we realized that there was some serious damage. Large trees and branches seemed to have been scattered across fields and roads. Whew! As we approached the restaurant that Mike had chosen there was a huge tree across one of the roads. We were pretty surprised to see the restaurant open. But it was, and so we parked and went in.
When we went in we were greeted by a friendly hostess who seemed a wee bit nervous, and quite justifiably so when you consider the weather. We commented on the storm and she said something along the lines of ‘Oh yes, but we are not expecting the next tornado for 20 minutes or so. Would you like to sit outside today?’ Mike didn’t miss a beat, he just gave her his great big smile and said we would prefer an inside table.
We laughed so hard. Enjoyed a fabulous steak dinner and oh-my-gosh, George Jones truly was amazing.
I’ll always treasure that weekend. The laughter that we shared later, each time we asked one another if we would prefer to sit outside in a storm. The appreciation for the King of Country Music, and how his music was as soul touching as ever even if he no longer reached the highest or lowest notes.
Sitting in that restaurant yesterday brought it all back to me. And even today, as I write, I feel myself tear up with joy and gratitude. One more story which I am grateful to have in my heart forever.
I encourage you to share your stories. When you do so, you share your loved one in so many ways. And it matters.
Master Grief Coach
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