Where Do You Put All Your Sadness?

Oh Darling Ones,

Despite the positive upswing on Friday, my Uncle Danny died last night. He was my mom’s twin brother and only 71. He loved Minnesota sports, his son, Billy, and the song “Hotel California.”

One Thanksgiving my siblings and I spent the entire evening trying to get his Android phone to play “Hotel California” whenever his phone rang. As iPhone users we failed in this mission because we could not even find the song on his phone.

Danny died just six weeks and one day after my dad. And while his death is not a total surprise, he’d been in a nursing home after a stroke in May he didn’t really recover from, this death double-whammy is a lot to take.

As someone who always runs a little blue, I’m used to a kind of generalized sadness being a part of my daily life. But I don’t know what to do with the specific sadness that comes with grief.

My mom called, crying, late yesterday morning to tell me of Danny’s impending death. I spent the entire day contemplating my sadness and what to do with it.

I carried on with my plans to put a lot of effort into making a pork chili verde. I cleaned and roasted and peeled poblanos, serranos, jalapeƱos, and tomatillos. I chopped onions and garlics. I seared pork. And the entire time, like a constant drumbeat in my head, I kept thinking, I am sad. I am sad. I am sad. I’m doing this while I am sad. I am sad.

Sad is something you are while you do other things, I guess. It reminds me of a writing lesson Dale Gregory Anderson taught us once about how nonsensical the phrase “try and” is, because what you really mean is “try to.”

“It’s not like you sit there trying,” he said, folding his arms across his chest and making a concentrating face, “and then when you’re done you go do whatever.” I’m not doing the lesson justice, I’m sorry. My uncle and my dad just died!

That’s a picture of my Uncle Danny (left) and my Dad (right) above. For Easter 2018, they decided to make Easter Bonnets and then challenge all of us to make them the next year. The winner got $100. I don’t remember what I spent the money on.

Darling Ones, I am so very sad and I don’t know what to do with it.

Your favorite bummer,

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