No one ever told me that grief felt so like fear.

C.S. Lewis
An AI-Generated Image

First, i hope everyone is safe, especially on this day when belief systems ran completely amok. Second, this day also holds a place for me that i will not go into but if you are a good internet sleuth you can figure it out.

Today i did something i have never done nor did i think i could do because of several factors. However into the breach once more and low and behold i pulled it off. The man with me is an expert at this activity and gave me some pointers as to how to perform the said activity. As i was saying goodbye to the man who is one of the closest people in my life we volitionally hugged each other and shook hands a certain way.

On this day i reflected on an Uber ride that i had years ago where a man picked me up. We started talking as it was a pretty good drive from SFO to the Marines’ Memorial Club & Hotel where i was speaking.

There are places I’ll remember
All my life though some have changed
Some forever, not for better
Some have gone and some remain

All these places have their moments
With lovers and friends I still can recall
Some are dead and some are living
In my life I’ve loved them all

The driver as it turns out was a former senior salesperson at salesforce. As i always say you never know what someone has been through so don’t judge them by how they make a living. We discussed most of the “-isms” and then he said, “Mr Ted i found comfort in the christian bible. Have you read it?” i said i have read it three times and i prefer the old testament. i asked him why? he said it helped him through the hard times of his life. He was talking about his family in past tense and i was very sensitive to prying to much into his business. i asked him what type of hardships. He said his family lived during the years of Pol Pot and the Cambodian genocide and his family were all murdered. i really didnt know what to say except “My Condolences”. He said, “Thank you Mr Ted. i have found peace and remember it is an honor to say goodbye to someone and to always make it count as you never know when you will see them again. As a matter of fact i do not tell people Goodbye i say i love you or be safe.”

We arrived at the Marine Hotel. We got out of the car and he said , “Mr Ted it has been an honor speaking with you i hope you enjoy your life. Be Safe Mr Ted.”

That left an indelible imprint on my mind.

Though I know I’ll never lose affection
For people and things that went before
I know I’ll often stop and think about them
In my life I love you more

On 9.11 – Today many lost loved ones. Grief, as Mr Lewis states, is very much like fear except you cannot Un-Grieve. You can be unafraid. Grief, as it turns out, is never-ending. There is no invertible transformation that makes you not grieve.

We have been so programmed to buck it up – suck it up, buttercup that everything tries to gloss over the loss. Whether a human or a family pet, it is ok to grieve. There are people and animals in my life that i will never recover from losing and for the longest time i beat myself up for not bucking up buttercup.

Further contemplating this i believe Grief is fractal. Zoom in on a fractal it evolves and changes yet holds the same shape ad infinitum1.

Mandelbrot Set Generated Fractal

Grief as it turns out appears at least to me to be closely aligned. The more you peel it back the more complex it gets.

Same Fractal Zoomed

Does time heal Grief? Not really. It is the memory that fades. Ergo other memories fade as a function of our leaky memory system.

We deal with healing in different ways. The Uber driver found solace in a religious text, others workout, some self-medicate, others try to replace the human or animal.

We want it to go away.

i say we should acknowledge the pain of grief and realize it and let it happen then further acknowledge that the next person or animal who is essential to you, use the opportunity and find strength in telling them “Be Safe, See ya Real Soon, or i love you more.” However above all, if you cherish that friend or loved one, it is an honor to tell them upon them walking out the door. Let them know it.

Until Then,

#iwishyouwater. <- Laird Hamilton on a Paddle board

@tctjr

Muzak To Blog By: A band called Papir.

[1] The Mandelbrot set is the set of complex numbers c for which the function $$f_{c}=z^2+c$$ does not diverge to infinity when iterated from $$z=0$$

10 comments on “It Is An Honor To Say “GoodBye”.

  • Gina

    Left me on tears with the rawness of it all. Amazing words and so true.

    • TCTJr

      hi gina!

      thank you so much i yes this was rather difficult but worth the price of entrance. thank you so much for the kind words.

      i hope you are safe.

      //ted

  • Colleen Andersen

    Poignant, eloquent and utterly true truths. Thank you for this Ted.

    • TCTJr

      C-

      So good to hear from you! thank you so much for the kind words. i hope you are safe.

      //ted

  • dug

    There is so much to digest in this. As you know, I lost my mother more than half my life ago, and there isn’t a day that goes by, that I don’t talk to her, and share things I’ve learned, and tell her how amazing my children are. I don’t find these conversations upsetting, of course, but they are very much the manifestations of how my grief for her not being in my tangible life has evolved over the years.

    I love the ‘In My Life’ lyrics punctuating your thoughts. Suspicious coincidence, but this is one of the songs that I closely associate with my mom. Thanks for sharing and I hope you sleep well.

    • TCTJr

      Dug:

      thank you for the kind words and your thoughts. EverForward!

  • Mary

    Amazing thoughts and beautifully said. As a previous comment said, simple truths.

    Mary

    • TCTJr

      M-

      Thank you so much i trust you are safe.

      //ted

  • Roma

    Sometimes grief feels like a favorite coat that I put away for the summer. I don’t need it in the sunshine and the light but I know exactly what corner of the closet it is in. And then sometimes I just go and bring it out, wrap myself in it and let it soak in. Sometimes I just need to be wrapped for a minute, for a day, sometimes for longer. Then, when it gets too hot I gently fold it and put it back knowing exactly where it is. I step back into the light, into life. Until the next time…

    I love you for always remembering. ♥️

    • TCTJr

      RDS:

      Lest We Forget. I hope you are well. Say hello for me.

      //ted

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