I was at a stoplight when I heard Adele’s new song “Hello” on the radio.
Yes, I still listen to the radio. My car was made in 2004, and it has a single CD player. The same CD has been stuck in the player for two years.
That’s right. Two years.
I don’t want to pay $500 for a replacement stereo, thank you very much.
Fortunately it’s the Lumineers debut CD, so when I don’t like what’s on the radio, I listen to “Ho Hum” over and over and over again. A classic song if you ask me.
The CD became stuck around the same time that our first frozen embryo transfer failed. In hindsight, I realize how ironic that is.
I felt stuck at that particular point in time.
Stuck wondering why we were experiencing yet another setback.
Stuck not knowing what my future looked like.
Stuck in my anguish.
As I continued listening, memories of my deceased ex-boyfriend came flooding in.
Hello, it’s me
I was wondering if after all these years you’d like to meet
To go over everything
They say that time’s supposed to heal ya
But I ain’t done much healing
I realized that I was still stuck in the pain of losing him.
I have an amusing story about this ex-boyfriend.
He is not only an ex-boyfriend, but he is gay. Yes, you read that right. He is gay. And he was my boyfriend for a blip in time in the mid nineties.
It took him slightly longer than I would have preferred to figure out that he was in fact gay, and not bisexual, although I believe he always knew. But that’s his story to tell, not mine.
Over the years we established an unbreakable bond. Although we eventually moved to different states and created separate lives, we continued to hold each other close in our hearts.
I was in my second year of grad school when I got the call.
“Jen, he was in a car accident and was killed instantly” his partner solemnly explained.
No I thought. Not him. He was the life of the party. Everyone’s friend. So open-minded and accepting of others.
It has been almost ten years since his passing. I think about him a lot. I wonder what he would be doing today. I imagine the colorful adventures we could have had over the years.
I miss laughing with him.
I miss his smile.
I miss his unconditional love.
I miss everything about him.
As I sat at the stoplight listening to more of the song, I thought of his mother.
Hello from the other side
I must’ve called a thousand times
For every time I thought about my friend over the years, I assume his mother thought about him a trillion times more.
What would that be like? To lose a grown child?
It is unbearable to fathom losing a baby or child at any stage. People are in pain, whether we recognize it or not.
The intended parents whom In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) didn’t work for are in pain.
The parents who lost their baby at 13 weeks are in pain.
The parents who lost their 6 year old are in pain.
And the parents who lost their 30 year old are in pain.
Ideally we’d live in a world where we would support each other through the grieving process.
This might look like a hug.
It might sound like “I’m here for you.”
It might be sitting in silence.
It might be a shoulder to cry on.
It might be reaching out to that person whom you’ve been too worried about reaching out to.
People need each other. They need to know they’re not alone. They need to know that they are loved, cared for, and that their pain is valid.
Let’s support one another.