MORNING COFFEE 35 - flight club

By Susan Weber

After the death of my partner, my children give me a book on flying. “Come visit,” they say, knowing I’m afraid to fly. “It’s good for us to see you.”

Grief has one foot in fear, the other in regret. This situation makes the wing buds burrow into shoulder blades until fairer skies prevail. I tell myself, ruffling the pages of Flying With Confidence, this may also help me deal with grief. Surely if I look for it, a message to my loss and apprehension might shine through.

On page 4, still the introduction, I read that turbulence is a totally natural part of flying and fear of flying has to do with feeling a loss of control and that it is very important you don’t limit your ability to change.

It turns out you are never alone with your grief. You may think you are when your outward bound family climbs in a car or a flying thing, and your only goal in life is using up leftovers before they decompose. You may send out the S.O.S. when terror overtakes you. Rocket flares, fire crackers, homing pigeons—nothing is taboo. But don’t be surprised by aid and abeyance you did not request.

Expect this friend to drag you on her morning walk, that one to take you to the movies. Expect to be presented with soup, a pot of petunias, your grass cut short by stealthy neighbors. Watch your leaky garage roof taken completely off your plate. Your dining room table will overflow with cards and messages. Strangers on the street will smile, as you once smiled at tragedy adrift on sneakered feet. Relatives and friends who lead with love and trust will lay their hands on you. Expect to be lifted. Expect your children to give you books on flight.  

Photo by Andreas Trepte CC BY-SA 2.5