It seems I never quite start a post at its beginning. You guys always get some sort of preamble, and well… today isn’t any different. I mean I hate to not be true to form. It would just be too confusing. I just gotta be me! So, here we go!
My goal this year is to write more, which isn’t to say I’ll post more – I just feel the need to blah on paper – to get some blahing out of my system. (FYI – “to blah” is a verb, and it’s also happens to be the best way to describe my writing (or talking) on any given day. I accept that.) It helps me process, especially when margarita-infused gab sessions are nowhere in the foreseeable future. Thus, more blahing in 2021 until someone gets me and my friends vaccines and a round of drinks. (Psst, could you also throw in some tortilla chips and creamy jalapeño? You’re a champ!)
I have a group of readers (friends/family) who follow a particular part of my journey relating to the loss of my husband, Jay. It hasn’t always been a scenic road. There have been plenty of potholes and ruts, but as time has marched forward the roads have straightened (though not entirely) – the ride has grown smoother (though still bumpy) – the sunrises over yawning fields becoming more spectacular. Yet still, the occasional sudden storm threatens the trip.
So I give you guys an anecdote from last week – just a rest stop at a tacky Bucc-ee’s knock-off.
In September I reached out to the local police department to request the case file on Jay’s death. I wanted to know how the events had unfolded before I arrived on the scene that day – a more complete picture. I was denied. The police department ruled that the information contained in the file might embarrass the parties involved. I wish I had the words or ability to describe the look that played across my face as I puzzled over the mere idea. “They’re worried Jay could be embarrassed? Seriously?” Not to be tacky, but I kinda felt we were long passed the “embarrassed” stage on this one.
Thankfully in our state, the police department couldn’t flat-out deny my request without getting our State Attorney General to weigh in on the matter and bless it. Well, the long and short of it was: the AG came back and basically said, “Embarrassed? are you kidding? No, we don’t believe Jay would be embarrassed,” except they used a lot of more professional sounding words and cited state code. So, on Friday I received the official word that the the documents related to Jay’s case were now available to me view and I did.
My picture of that day is more complete.
It brought me a sense of closure – not peace, but closure. The kind where your best friend has to jump in and basically say, “ok, your feelings are absolutely valid – feel your feels, but how about we walk that back a bit and reframe” but using best-friends words – the kind where your edges smooth a bit, your jaw loosens and you remember that blinking is kind of nice. The kind where you stop and decide that christening your new fire pit by throwing in some newly discovered kindling may actually be a bad idea.
It reminded me of how great the officers on the scene were and how grateful I was (and still am) to them – all the things they did to take care of me – all of the ways they protected me. It reminded me of how terrible some people could be, which may (speaking completely hypothetically here of course) have caused a loud, visceral, and somewhat explosive outburst where I may (again, hypothetical – you have no proof) have wished someone a great deal of ill that I eventually backed off of when I remembered that they are actually living their worst life. “A pox on your house!! Oh wow! Looks like you already have a few in the works. I mean if you got this, champ, I guess we’re cool. You just keep rolling with the poxes. Seems kind of pointless to wish one on you at this point so I’ll be over here. Have a great day!”
At the end of the day, reading the report reminded me of how far I’ve come, and how far I still need to go. It reinforced the value of true friendship when it comes to coping with complex issues. Let’s face it, we all need that person who tells us when to pump the brakes. It also drove home how important it is to have real conversations. If you think someone may be in crisis, then ask. You’re not going to put an idea in their head.
That is my storm. The clouds are beginning to move off, but the rain hasn’t quite subsided. Thankfully, I have friends with umbrellas.