Velcro and Baby Poop: How NBC’s The Office Saved My Mother’s Day

Journal Entry: Friday, May 11 10:42am – Today I woke up feeling bleh. No reason in particular. It happens. Typically, I’m bouncing for joy for one reason or another. But today feels different. I feel unusually sad. Like an invisible hand slapped me into a reality I cannot escape. Words that normally ring in the ears of my heart grow eerily silent as waves of gratitude recede from the shores of my soul. I imagine this is what barrenness feels like: empty silence. 

Journal Entry: Saturday, May 12 9:04 pm – I don’t think I’ve ever cried so much. She’s dying. No, not the kind of dying where it at least gives you time to prepare to say your goodbyes. Not the kind of dying that gives you a sense of feeling like you can have closure, even if it’s imagined and enacted by my own selfish desires. She is dying. Right now. Right this minute. And inside, I feel the walls of my kingdom collapsing. She’s a few days shy of her 27th wedding anniversary. It’s time like this that I secretly wish rage would pay me a visit…this silence is killing me.

By far, this weekend was probably the toughest I’ve encountered in a while. After learning of my relative’s condition, I decided: Mother’s Day was canceled. There’d be no trip to Coldstone’s Ice Creamery. No trip to Mom’s to celebrate. No gifts exchanged. No joy. Just silence. If that was going to be her fate; it was definitely going to be mine also.

It was my full intention to barricade myself in my room, watch movies all night and feign sickness the next day so that I wouldn’t hurt my family’s feelings when I announced Mother’s Day was over. I had it all figured out. Then I started catching up on the Office. 

First, am I the only one who didn’t know Jim and Pam had another baby?!! I just about hit the floor when I saw Dr. Who’s Donna Noble eating a taco by pouring its contents into her mouth! (How bad is it that I have no idea what her name is on the show?) But what really made me laugh was when Jim ripped Dwight’s velcro-suit off him and ran. I think I laughed for about 20 minutes before I could continue watching the episode.

All in all, I watched about 3 hours worth of Office episodes and you know what? The silence lifted. I heard myself asking is Kelly seriously dating the hottie from Heroes?! Is Angela kissing Dwight in the paternity clinic?? !  Of course, that got me laughing even harder all over again and again and again.

Why I wrote this post:  Pain happens. Grief happens. It hits hard and pulls no punches. You cry. You ache. You bleed. Isolating yourself as a means to coping with pain or loss seems like the ideal solution–it isn’t. You’re going to find that sometimes when you can’t reach out because silence traps you inside a shell of yourself,  laughter is the best medicine. Find a funny video, photo or keepsake that never ceases to put a smile in your heart. You never know when you’ll need it.

P.S.

My Mother’s Day was a smashing success: Brunch. Coldstone’s. Moscato Champagne. Once Upon a Time. Sherlock Holmes. Hugs. Kisses. Gifts and lots of laughter.

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