Sadness and Gladness

Today was a strange, rather unsettling day. It started out fine. I did my normal morning routine (tarot reading, exercise, Wordle, Quordle) then wrote the note to my friend overseas. I sure was glad to have that small accomplishment out of the way! It’s been niggling at me for the past two months.

On the way to the post office, a friend who was driving by pulled over to chat. I was saddened to hear that her husband had passed away. It’s always hard to get such news, but harder for us who have been there (as opposed to those who haven’t had to deal with such a loss) because we have a good idea what the one left behind is going through. We also know there’s nothing we can do or say to make things better. Each of us has to learn to cope the best way we know how, and to learn how to live alone. That sounds cold, I know, but it’s the bitter truth. Still, I feel sad for her and all that she’s going to have to deal with in the coming months and years.

After she drove off to do her lonely errands, I continued to the post office. I was glad to discover that I could walk normally up the ten or so steps to the post office door. It’s a far cry from being able to hike up eighteen flights of stairs as I did when I worked in a downtown Denver office building (so long ago that it was the tallest building in the city), but ever since I damaged my knees, I’ve had to climb stairs the way a small child does. One foot up and then the other foot dragged up to the same step.

I was glad to discover that the postage to a European country is relatively cheap — only twice what it is to send a letter domestically.

I was glad that this was such a nice, cool day that I could get my errands done and still be able to do some weeding in my gardens.

All those things I was glad about today seem paltry in comparison to the sadness of death and a friend’s grief, but still, I was glad, which is why today was so strangely unsettling.

But that’s life, I suppose — the sadness and gladness all jumbled together so we never quite know how to feel.


Pat Bertram is the author of Grief: The Inside Story – A Guide to Surviving the Loss of a Loved One. “Grief: The Inside Story is perfect and that is not hyperbole! It is exactly what folk who are grieving need to read.” –Leesa Healy, RN, GDAS GDAT, Emotional/Mental Health Therapist & Educator.