Grieving Mindfully with Mindfulness Mutt

Despite having my key with me, I got locked out of my house this morning when I went to walk the dog. I’ve come to accept that life comes with its minor frustrations, but this minor frustration became one of those huge “I can’t believe this is happening to me” ordeals, especially since I have a history of horrible Good Fridays.

Immediately, I recognized my thoughts trying to run away with me. I reminded myself to breathe with my frustration, and for a moment I thought I did a pretty good job of letting it go.

Thankful that I’d had the forethought to bring my phone on my walk, I googled 24-hour locksmiths and saw an ad that said, “15 minute response 24/7.” When I called, the man said a tech would call me back. When the tech called, he said he would arrive in 30 minutes.

Fortunately, I live near a drive-thru Dunkin’ Donuts and I did have my keys with me, after all, so I hopped in the car with my dog. She got wet paw prints all over the seats because it had rained overnight, but I recognized my irritation and reminded myself that wet paw prints do eventually dry.

I was determined to make the most out of my predicament.

Coffee in hand, I drove back home to sit on the stoop and enjoy my morning beverage while I waited for the locksmith. 30 minutes later, he called to say he was going to be 10 minutes late. My own patience wearing thin, I tried to see the situation through my dog’s eyes.

For those of you who like dogs as well as bunnies, please allow me to introduce my dog, Salem (a.k.a. Mindfulness Mutt).

When the tech finally arrived, I told him I had my key and it just wouldn’t turn. He told me it would cost $325 for him to drill out the lock and let me in. Once he drilled the lock, he told me it would cost another $125 plus labor to replace the doorknob.

Convinced he was ripping me off, I politely told him to go ahead and do it. He left to get the new lock from his car. And I broke down in tears, very much aware of the fact that the problem never would have occurred if my husband were still alive.

It is unexpected moments like these that make me miss my husband even more. As much as I try to work with the painful emotions and allow myself to grieve, there are times when it just hits me hard and it feels like it’s never going to get better.

Then, I am reminded of one of my husband’s favorite quotes, part of the last sentence from Samuel Beckett’s The Unnamable:

“…you must say words, as long as there are any, until they find me, until they say me, strange pain, strange sin, you must go on, perhaps it’s done already, perhaps they have said me already, perhaps they have carried me to the threshold of my story, before the door that opens on my story, that would surprise me, if it opens, it will be I, it will be the silence, where I am, I don’t know, I’ll never know, in the silence you don’t know, you must go on, I can’t go on, I’ll go on.”

So, with love, memories, mindfulness–and the knowledge that my pain teaches me more with every tear–I go on.

Oh, and tears saved me money today, too. When the locksmith heard me crying, he knocked $230 off the price. In a way, I guess my husband is still rescuing me from the problems I sometimes create for myself.

Looking for the moral of today’s story? Don’t hang bags full of books on your doorknobs. Evidently, the key is not strong enough to turn the lock when there is too much weight on the other side of the door.

2015-03-30 11.58.25