Vacation From Grief
After Brad died his girlfriend returned his high school ring to me. I put it on and did not remove it for a very long time. By wearing it I felt like I was taking Brad with me wherever I went. Actually, it was the grief I was carrying around with me; and I wasn’t ready to let it go. About two years later my wife said she was tired of the constant gloominess that had infiltrated our lives and insisted we take a vacation. “And we’re not taking our grief with us,” she pleaded. Easier said than done.
On the day of departure I slid Brad’s ring off my finger and placed it in my jewelry box. Just like when he was little and we’d leave him with his grandparents, I spoke to the ring. “We’re only going for a few days. Me and mom need some alone time. I know you’ll be here waiting for me. I’ll pick you up as soon as I get back.”
Somehow that seemed to work. The symbolic act of taking off the ring allowed me to have a nice time.
Not surprising, the grief was waiting for me right where I left it. The grief, after eight years, has softened,
but I still wear Brad’s ring every day and I still take it off before going on vacation. And yes, I still say,
“I’ll see you when we get back.”
Richard Berman, Baltimore