62: Grieve Bee

62: Grieve Bee

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: Grieving and Recovery

Grieve Bee

I don’t know why they call it heartbreak. It feels like every other part of my body is broken too.

~Missy Altijd

After a full week of teaching elementary school choir, Saturday couldn’t have come any sooner. I had just nestled into my recliner after a delightful day in the sun, zipping about town on my mobility scooter. I am an energetic 46-year-old woman living with a form of Parkinson disease that stiffens my body, so bike riding is a thing of my past.

I had stopped at the market to pick up a carton of soy milk (I’m healthful that way) and a box of my favorite sweet cereal, Froot Loops (I like to keep my dentist in business). After donning my most comfortable sweatpants and Ragu-stained T-shirt, I was set for a lazy night in front of the tube.

So there I was, munching my artificially flavored rings and gripped by the National Geographic special on snakes. Right in the middle of watching a cobra swallow a rabbit whole, it hit me: memories of my dad, who had passed away only weeks before, consumed my thoughts.

The grieving process is a strange and miraculous thing and can overtake you at any time, even as you eat a bowl of colorful cereal and watch a snake gulp down a cute animal. The floodgates opened as wide as the cobra’s mouth, and I started sobbing.

I found myself wishing and wishing for the heartache to just stop; that something else, anything, would preoccupy my mind. Then suddenly a giant bee hovered in front of my nose. The buzz was deafening, and I cursed myself for leaving my front door open to air out the house during the day.

Shrieking, I hurled my bowl of cereal overhead. As soy milk rained downward, I struggled out of my recliner. This is not an easy task when you have a mobility disease, but the buzz echoing in my ear was a great motivator.

Thud! I hit the floor. Crawling on hands and knees, I slithered toward the kitchen, as the mutant beast hovered only inches above. I grabbed a dishtowel, and where a person without a mobility issue could whip that towel with a mighty snap, striking the buzzing foe, I lifted my towel and it went... blorp. I could have sworn I heard the bee snicker.

I blorped left, then blorped right, I believe it napped whilst I blorped left once again. It lunged at me, chasing me all over my apartment, my arms flailing about as though my hair was on fire.

I made it to the bathroom and slammed the door shut. Arming myself with a can of white linen-scented Lysol, I was now ready to do battle with the fuzzy buzzer lurking just outside my door. My intention was not to actually kill the bee, but rather encourage it away from me, meanwhile, making it the only bee in existence that is 99% germ free.

After a deep breath, I courageously swung open the door, which promptly caught on the bath mat. That threw me off balance and I fell to the side, immersing my left forearm in the toilet.

The winged Kong flew in, buzzing, and I screamed and sprayed valiantly. All you could hear in the following seconds was buzzing and screaming and hissing, and mind you, my arm was still in the toilet.

I escaped and made it back to the living room and watched Kong fly about my home. My heart pumped, my mind raced, and my left arm was dripping. I frantically sought a remedy.

Just as I was going to grab a bottle of 409, it dawned on me. I dashed to the front door, opened it, and the bee flew out.

I plopped back down in my soy milk-soaked recliner and smiled, for my bee trouble suddenly reminded me of all the times my dad would laugh at me if a bee or spider wandered inside, and I’d start flailing. I then cried happy tears as the sound of Dad’s laughter rang out in my memory.

I was content for those few moments, until I had to contend with the 12 mosquitoes and six moths that flew in when the bee flew out.

The message here is: let yourself grieve... and be mindful of what you wish for.

~Claire Mix

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