Week 18 -Tears for a stranger

Yesterday, my Mastermind partner asked me if I had been reading obituaries. Not really, I replied, it was kind of a hard thing to do. A few hours after our conversation, I found out that a woman I knew had just died. I didn’t know her well, but it hit hard. She could have been me. She was approximately my age, with children the same age as mine. We used to work at the same place doing similar jobs. Our sons are on the same hockey team. For some reason, cancer chose her, and after a long fight, she finally passed away yesterday.

As I sat in a poorly chosen line at the car wash, I sobbed. Then I became frustrated with the slow lady washing her car. Then I laughed at how ridiculous I was to be cranky about waiting. Then I sobbed again. This lasted for half an hour (she really was slow) and the whole time I moved between tears, laughter, growls, and more tears.

I was glad I was alone because it felt sort of ridiculous to be that upset about someone I didn’t even really know – a handful of conversations maybe. She seemed kind and gentle. I wondered if she had always been that way, or if her illness had changed her in some way.

It’s 3:00 am here and I woke up from a nightmare where some shapeless, nameless thing that I couldn’t see was trying to drag me away. I lay awake, not wanting to go back to that place. I tried to send thoughts of peace and love to her family. Then I tried to sleep. Then I thought: damn, how grateful would she be if she could have woken up like me this morning? Woken up to her beautiful children, to another day with the ones she loves.

So, I get it. I get why the obituaries. I am so grateful. Grateful to be alive and tired. Grateful my feet hurt. Grateful for the laundry I have to do today and the bills I have to pay. Grateful that I found this course and made changes in my life so that I can be here in my life, loving my children with everything I have.

The human experience is strange that way. It takes death to appreciate life. Sad times to appreciate the happy ones. A bad cold to appreciate the day you wake up healthy. Up and down we go – and I am so grateful for it all.

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33 thoughts on “Week 18 -Tears for a stranger

  1. masterkeybrony

    Such a powerful experience to have and thank goodness for the slow lady in the car wash! Being able to feel what you felt was a magical experience and what a place to do it! 🙂 feeling grateful to have read your post:-)

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  2. jenorator79

    Thank you for sharing so beautifully the truth of this human experience. Many of the things you mention that lead us back to gratitude have ‘no principle’ as Haanel puts it and reading your blog helped me to understand the essence of this statement to a degree I had yet to absorb it. Thank you. Much Love to you
    JEN

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  3. masterkeyrea

    Jamie, I must say that your post brought up some not so pleasant memories of someone passing. You are so right that it takes death to enjoy and be grateful for what we do have. When he passed I could not control the emotions that I’ve always tried to deny or hide. I’m grateful for the help in the class. After a life long attempt of hiding what is now one of my greatest strengths, I look back and see the “wake up call”.as my call to the “Hero’s Journey”
    Robert

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    1. jccoombs Post author

      In spirit! It has been a crazy, wonderful trip, but I think I’ve been left in the dust and would benefit from a restart. Thanks for all of the great support and best of luck on your journey!!

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    1. jccoombs Post author

      thanks for the support rex! I’m still here in spirit, just starting over at week 1. i’m keeping up on my pif so i can have access to all of the materials – this journey is for life!

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  4. masterkeyrea

    Jamie, The class will end soon. Please stay in touch and let any of us know if we can help you. When the class starts next time, I think you can join in again. You are a terrific person and you know that We care and hold you dear in out thoughts.

    Robert.

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    1. jccoombs Post author

      Thank-you Robert! Your comments mean a lot. This is definitely a life journey and I will likely give it another go in September. Like Rex says, we keep getting up!!

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  5. masterkeyrexp

    I second that Robert!! Certainly don’t beat yourself up Jamie, just like the song at the end of the movie “The Good Lie”,
    we fall down, and we get up
    we fall down, and we get up
    we fall down, and we get up
    we fall down, and we get up
    ………

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