This showed up as, what is it called again? Slight anger. I felt it at IKEA this morning at 10 am. I arrived to find a sign taped to the door that says, "We are sorry! The ad was wrong! We will be opening an hour later at 11:00 am! Happy Holidays!" I was there to get a piece of furniture that is a "Door Buster" marked 75% off for a family member who shall remain unnamed in case (s)he is reading this. Except the doors are not busting open for another hour. I grab a cart and start a line at the door. And begin the wait. Along with many others. Apparently, breakfast was offered for free! in this incorrect ad, so now many hungry children are joining the crowd. Hungry children waiting in line for an hour as a cold front blows in. Good times.
At ten minutes to 11:00, an employee comes out with a bullhorn which is quite close to my first-in-line face. He instructs us all to make a line along the wall! (My relocation makes me last in line.) He instructs not to run or push! He instructs us there are plenty of Door Busters available! (These IKEA employees are just full of exclamation points!)
The door opens and I complete my rapid journey through the mouse maze that is IKEA, and find the Door Busters at the end by the check- out counters. There are some left, and they are packed flat in very heavy boxes. There are five employees standing nearby trading stories from last night's glories. I go to ask an employee for help in getting a box into my cart and she lifts a finger at me. You know, the finger that says, "Wait a minute: I'm talking to someone. I'll get to you in a minute or ten." And then she finishes listening to the cute male employee's story, laughs gleefully and turns toward me with a huff. And maybe an eyeroll. But I want this Door Buster, so I zip my lips until it is safely in my basket. And I marvel that this is hitting my emotional radar. This, as Martha says when she is not dissing Rachel Ray, is a good thing: I am feeling emotions again.
This holiday break was so full of good friends and sweet family; interesting activities and good conversation. But in the pit of my heart and stomach was this constant ache just lurking under the surface. Unwanted but not unexpected. I am, as my grief class suggests, learning to lean into the pain.
When I hear the radio playing the song sung at D's service? I let myself cry instead of getting busy and ignoring it. When I go through D's closet deciding which shirts to save to make a lap quilt out of? I allow a sadness to settle over me that seems to have no bottom at the moment. When I can't get the Door Buster out of the car because it is still too heavy (and there are no eye-rolling employees or husband to help), I go inside the house for the ugly cry knowing that I can call someone for help later.
I was thinking yesterday that what if, theoretically, there was a certain amount of tears that had to fall before the pain was gone? If I bottle them up or hold them back, the final tally is a long time coming. If I allow those tears to come every time they are close to the surface and threatening to spill over the lids onto my newly purchased waterproof mascara? Well, maybe I'll meet that mythical quota sooner.
Leaning into the pain. Allowing the tears to come. Feeling the emotions. Those are good things.
And Martha? Leave our girl Rachel alone. I'm feeling for her, too.