Host of The Big Shrink live comedy variety show at UCB Theatre East in NYC and also The Sharon Spell Show podcast. Into jokes, art & joie de vivre. No bummers.Ask me anything
“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a harder battle.” ― Plato
Three years ago today I boarded the M60 bus to LaGuardia Airport for the second time in a month. That day I happened to board the bus with a couple I know who’d recently gotten engaged. They were heading for him to meet her family for the first time. It was lovely to be near them, so giddy with love and snark, so nervous and hopeful. They were wonderful.
They asked where I was heading and I simply said, “Home.” And I left it at that. It was true that I was heading “home,” but also true that I was heading there to watch my mother slip away in hospice. This was my second trip “home” in a month because three weeks before I’d made the same trip to watch my father slip away the same way. It felt right to omit these bits of information. They had no idea what I was dealing with, there was no way they’d be able to understand in that moment, and I didn’t want to them to understand. It was a comfort to see their joy, to know joy still existed in the world and would be available to me again in the future. My forlorn misery didn’t need to crash their happiness banquet. Spilling this sad would leave a mark.
Three years later, August is still a hard month with the sensory memories of loss. The angle of the sun and this season now remind me of sorrow, helplessness. I’ve cycled through the stages of grief, experienced the denial, bargaining, anger and depression. I have also experienced healing, and yes even joy, and walk better with my grief. The untrained eye can barely notice this limp. But when the conditions are right, the pain returns. And that’s ok. That’s acceptance. Kindness, forgiveness, acceptance are the connective tissue I choose to focus on in the low times. Kindness is my active choice.
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