This Is Why
Copyrighted by Lorna Tedder. Originally published in Third Degree Below.
In grieving situations, you always play out the same scenes in your head over and over, turn it all over, analyze it, and —as Daddy used to say—”talk it to death.” But that IS part of the process, whether it’s a death, divorce, or some other personal catastrophe.
Late yesterday afternoon, I was still at work and struggling with an intensely heavy feeling. It was to be a busy week: an emergency turn-around review for a big weapons program, a second emergency turn-around review on a different program, and acquisition strategy panel and risk assessment, and then, on top of all that, the brand new $600M TEAS contract just got a GAO protest so I was helping my team with that as my day ended.
The heaviness got worse toward the end of the day. Just weighing down on me like dark emotions that weren’t mine. In spite of the frantic work week, I still had a good mindset. Before I left work, I started checking in with various loved ones to see if they were okay, but my cell phone battery went low so I made a last call to the girls to let them know I was on my way home. Aislinn was planning something with her dad and so I decided to take Shannon to dinner and try to talk through the heaviness I felt.
At home, Shannon was having the same problem. The past few hours of it. Heaviness around us.
We’d just arrived at the restaurant when Aislinn called. She’d had a funny feeling and a pain in her chest and had decided to call my mom in Georgia “just to check up on her.” A neighbor answered the phone and told her my parents had gone to the emergency room. For all his health problems, it was, officially, a heart attack that ended it.
Sometimes people ask why I don’t shield more so that I don’t pick up certain feelings. This is why.