Ch.161 A Fisherman Named Grief Reels Me In

Ch.161 A Fisherman Named Grief Reels Me In

          August 6, 2022

Showering has become a dangerous time for me. This morning, as has occurred frequently, I was soaping up when, without warning, I began sniffling, then crying, then sobbing. “I miss you so much, honey,” was all I could think and say out loud. “I miss you so much.” And then it was over; another grief spasm, unbidden, had overtaken me.

How can these sudden, uncontrollable episodes be happening to me, a man who usually manages to exert at least a little control over his thoughts and feelings? I keep thinking that this can’t be happening. This can’t be real.

I remember my dad taking my brother Don and me fishing when we were boys. He demonstrated how to gently reel in a fish on the line. The goal, he told us, was to bring in the fish so quietly that it didn’t even realize it was caught. That way it would fight less and therefore be less likely to slip off the hook.

My grief is an excellent fisherman. He keeps reeling me in. Quietly, subliminally, he baits the hook with a loving memory; he casts the line into my river of sadness; when I take the bait and begin to feel Pat’s presence, he hauls me into his boat before I realize I’ve been caught. And then, suddenly, I cry for a few minutes, before he releases the hook and throws me back into the river.