Monday, January 11, 2010

January 11, 2010 SPLAT

I am standing,


in the parking lot of Costco

in the arms of

a strange man.

The parking lot of Costco, my cart next to me.

I am unable to find my car.

It's not my car, it's the one I am borrowing.

And when I left the store, striding like a woman who knows

EXACTLY where she is going, I remembered what it looked like.

But as I neared the row, I forgot where I parked.

"This is stupid." I say out loud.

My strides begin to shorten, then they falter and I can't find the car.

And then I can't remember what car I am looking for.

Is the mini-van? No that's at home.

Whose car is it? What does it look like?

And out of NO WHERE....I am sobbing.

I can't find my stupid car cause I can't remember what it looks like.

Is this grief or am I losing it?

Shit where is the car?

Why am I so hysterical about not being able to find the car?

And then I stop, attempt to gather myself (which means I am telling myself to fucking knock it off, get a grip and calm the hell down.)

"Are you OK?" says a gentle voice.

There is a man standing next to me. And just like in the movies, I look down and shake my head.

And then I start to laugh AND cry AND sob.

"I can't find my car. I can't remember what I'm driving. My husband died almost 9 months ago and I really hope this is the grief."

And then he looks at me, knowingly and says,

"My wife died 5 year ago." he says "It's the grief." He smiles.

And then I swear to God,

I'm hugging this guy, and crying in his shoulder and with his arms around me. He doesn't shush me. He tells me about the time he landed at LAX 8 months after his wife died and wasn't even sure he was at the right airport.

And now I'm pulling away and laughing and then BINGO I remember what car I'm supposed to look for and




We smile at each other. I give him one last hug and we whisper a thank you to each other at the same time because it's our secret. He knows what he did for me. He knows the gift he bestowed on me and he is grateful I willing said yes.

He smiles and waves one last time before he turns towards the store.

SPLAT....grief undone.


  1. Truly amazing experience!

    And so beautifully written, Kim. Bravo!

    I suggest you post it to the collection of mini-stories about compassion:

    (This is Karen Armstrong's TED wish project)...


  2. Anonymous10:27 AM

    I am always impressed by your writing - moved, unnerved. But this one cut to the bone. No it's not craziness or insanity or Alzheimer's (those were always my fears) - it's the way that grief quite literally rocks your world.


  3. Anonymous12:48 PM

    funny how we are each other's angels. Remember, everyone, to stop and make sure that you LISTEN when the row-boat comes along.