Jun 19

Six years ago

Category: Uncategorized
Here’s a funny story about the time of my mom’s death, the sixth anniversary of which is approaching .  That’s right, a funny story.
She died only weeks before my first big trip to Hawaii, where I’d be working and scuba diving – a lifetime goal.  I went only 10 days after the ceremonies were over.

I had just been diving and was in a van with a bunch of people coming back from the dive site.  It was about a 30 minute drive. Everyone was in a good mood and chatting away like sparrows.

Of course I was in shock; the whole experience was surreal: to experience such great joy and wonder, yet to be in the midst of grief and loss. While I was underwater in this beautiful tropical environment, excited and triumphant, my heart was continuously falling out of my chest, and a leaden pall hung over every thought.  Living was a chore that took concentration.  But I soldiered on.
My relationship with my mother was close; a big part of my life was the adult equivalent of  “Mom come see!”  We shared my adventures through photographs I’d bring back and share with her.  It was a prime motivator for the development of my writing and photographic skills.

It turned out that the American Psychological Association was having its annual meeting in Hawaii that year, and literally everyone in the van with the exception my me and the driver were shrinks (and all women, many of my mother’s age.).  I later read in the newspaper that fifty thousand people came to the meeting!

One of my van-mates in particular seemed intent on finding out more about me, although I was not all that willing to divulge what was going on.  Eventually though, it came out that my mother had just passed away.  Then, the woman wanted to know when.  I was evasive.  She sensed blood and redoubled her efforts.

The entire population of the van united to crack this nut; it was a group therapy mugging, with one patient and 8 shrinks.  Finally I told her, and it was like a movie scene where a guy walks into a bar and the music stops.  I started laughing, and they must have thought I was really crazy.  But it was genuinely funny!

Six years later, I am still chuckling over the idea that three weeks after my mother died, I ended up trapped on a vacation island with 50000 shrinks, and the ones I met didn’t seem to understand me.  My mother would have laughed.

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1 Comment so far

  1. Steve June 19th, 2010 8:45 PM


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