Junebug Strong went back to school after her loud and sudden loss and she wasn’t sure why her ears were ringing so much or why she began to examine her eyes every night before going to sleep to make sure she would not go blind. What Junebug Strong was sure of was that she wanted to protect her heart and if that meant rubbing ice cream all over her face at lunch to make her friends laugh, by God – she would do it. She would do anything to distract people from her heart.
We think of our heart as holding all of our desires. So it makes complete sense that she wanted to hide this part of her from others. She desired her dad to be back but she also desired to be like a normal kid – and when she weighed them both, focusing on her desire to fit in & be funny felt much less risky. All she needed was some ice cream.
Junebug may have been a little confused about how to handle the loss of her dad but she got one thing right...losing someone is messy. I am listening to Brene Brown's Rising Strong book and the point she makes is how we are so focused on the triumphant victory and not enough on the journey. And it's true. When life gets hard and we fall flat on our faces, the getting back up part and learning how to walk again is often the part of our stories where we go radio silent. It's the messy part.
It's the part I am trying to learn. How to answer the question "how are you?" honestly even if it feels awkward. How to say no when I am tired or to be nice to myself when I get nothing done in a day. How I try not to over-explain, over-apologize, over-schedule or over-do it but often doing it anyway, and then forgiving myself and trying again. How to pick up the phone and ask for a favor. How to talk less and sit with myself and be OK with it.
See with all of this messiness it makes sense why Junebug just went for the ice cream all over her face. Good job Junebug!
Sheryl Sandberg, the COO of Facebook, in her recent commencement speech about suddenly losing her husband talks about coming to accept that she had to "rock the shit out of plan B" as her victory moment and as I listened to this beautiful but melancholy tune by Ben Harper this week called "The Three of Us", I realized I am not quite at the rocking out phase. But I know I will be one day.. stay tuned.
Jay loved this song below. It has no words - fitting I think.