Friday, June 11, 2010


Today I go to a busy annual event. There are several hundred people there. Most I have not seen for a year or more. I have stressed over this event for days. So much so that I get zero sleep the night before. It is work related. I have to go. Some people know that Colby passed, others won't. But they all know Colby, because for years he used to accompany me to this.

Just as I imagined, at the event I had two kinds of conversations. The first went something like this:

"I am so, so very sorry about Colby. You poor thing. How are you doing?"

"I'm fine. It's a bit of an emotional roller coaster, but I'm okay." This is my standard answer. People really do not want to know that I cry every morning when I wake up and every evening before I fall asleep. They don't want to know that Colby's absence still hurts with every breath I take and that it is a rare occasion when I can get in the truck and go from Point A to Point B without having to pull off the road because I am crying so hard.

"Really? Are you really okay?"

"Yes. It is very hard, but I am okay."


These people do not understand that I don't want to go into details in this very public setting. I try not to be rude as I turn to find something to busy myself with, or someone else to talk to. But the someone else invariably jumps into conversation number two:

"Hey! Hi! How are you? Long time no see? How's that boy of yours?"

"I'm sorry to say that Colby passed away last July."

"Ha, ha! No, how is he, really?"

"He passed away."

When they get what I am saying, it's a real conversation stopper. That's when they turn and try to busy themselves with something or find someone else to talk to. In either instance, conversation is awkward. I feel like I have the plague as the crowd parts every time I walk through it. Faces turn away. The few that don't are overly solicitous. "Oh, you poor, poor thing," they say as they pat me on the back.

And people wonder why I don't go out much anymore.

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