Erin and I left Friday morning for Columbus, Ohio. It wasn’t a pleasure trip, for certain; we went for her grandmother’s funeral.
It was truly one of the most surreal experiences of my life. I’d never been to Ohio before, and it’s been countless years since I attended a full Catholic Mass. More than that, I was there in a capacity that was beyond my comprehension… at that point.
It’s not as if I couldn’t relate to Erin having lost her grandmother, who she loved dearly. The two of them shared a connection that I’m envious of. I had to work through the death of my father almost 5 years ago, and am still dealing with it, really… so it’s not like I “hadn’t been there” before.
But, I hadn’t.
The most alien thing to me was that I absolutely could not do anything to make things better for Erin. There was no specific action that I could take; there was no specific phrase that I could speak; there was no specific gesture I could offer; nothing I could do would help serve to lessen the pain she feels over the loss of her beloved Grandma Jean.
But, there’s always been something that I could do to make things better for me (usually my initial instinct) or someone else… beit submit, dominate, defer, decide, focus, distract, take care, jettison, push away, pull closer, or whatever. Not so this time. And it kind of fucked me up… I kind of felt like I was useless, pants down, dick twisting in the wind.
Until I realized that it wasn’t up to me to fix anything, and that it wasn’t about making things better for me, and not about me at all.
Just “being there” made things better for Erin. And I’m so thankful that I could do that for her… even if I didn’t really do anything.