Sunday, June 06, 2010

Stockholm Syndrome

You know, my last blog post was a very heartfelt, emotional catharsis and I expected my next post to get back to the observational absurdities that typically fill these updates.  I'm not quite there yet. 
I literally cried every day for 6 weeks after Sherri passed away.  Now I cry randomly.  They say crying is good for the spirit because it helps you release the emotions   They say you feel better.  I'm not so sure.  I do know that it's not every day, so I guess that's a sign that things are trending in the right direction.
I'm in Stockholm.  That's Stockholm, as in capital of Sweden, not Stockton, as in the arm pit of California.  Minor apologies to anyone from Stockton.  It was sunny today, which is totally appropriate for a Sunday, and every Stockholmeo was outside taking in the sunshine like worms coming out after the rain.  I had flown in this morning and after I checked into the hotel, I decided to take a walk around the center of the city.  I walked for quite a while and I noticed that the overwhelming majority of groups of people were couples or couples with kids. At times I felt like the only person in Stockholm out by himself.  I'd take consolation when I saw the occasional jogger and observe that they're by themselves so I'm not the only one.  I walked out to an island, Grundevaldgarten or something like that; there was a bridge; that made it much easier to walk to it. I sat on a bench looking back at the center of the city and I took this picture.  

As I sat on the bench, I started looking through the pictures in my iPhone and looked at pictures of Sherri.  I came across this picture from a walk that we took on a sunny day in January this year. It was a day when we walked as a couple.  Right then I was glad I was sitting at bench at the end of the island because the tears just started streaming down my face and I sure didn't want any well-meaning Stockholmeos trying to figure out what was wrong or reporting me to the police.  I just wanted to hold her hand again and share the beauty of the day.  I knew it would have made her happy and that would have made me happy.
I re-realized something at that moment. For me, and I'm sure for many of you, it really is about other people. I mean the joy in life comes from the relationships.  The more intimate those relationships become the more intense the joy becomes.  Of course, there's risk with that.  The loss of an intense relationship is much more painful. Some people will not engage in an intense relationship for fear of pain, fear of loss.  Some people will withhold themselves out of self-protection.  Not me.   When that time comes again, when I'm ready to have that intense relationship, I'll throw myself once again into the breach.  The joy will always far outweigh the pain.

Thanks for reading,
Steve