A gift card is usually bought with money or maybe with earned reward points and it has unlimited purchase possibilities. A promo cert is usually a freebie, a sort of consolation prize, and its use is restricted to certain products.
As you move through your suddenly single life are you paying your way with legal tender or are you always looking for the promos, the freebies, the handouts, lunching on Costco samples? Are you engaging wholeheartedly in your daily life or are you miserly limiting yourself to the restricted activities from the freebie list. The things you feel you deserve. It’s sort of the difference between electing to pay to climb into the hot air balloon gondola and enjoy the vista spread out before you with the champagne toast or just waving up at a balloon as it passes overhead. Can you experience full heart racing exhilaration or do you question your right to even laugh out loud?
Do you remember the first time you laughed out loud after your loved one passed? I do. It was exactly a month later. Several friends I knew from my disbanded writer’s group invited me out for a special lunch. I really didn’t want to go but felt obligated because these were my peers and they cared about me. When still active, our writers’ group usually met once a month and a handful of us would get together before the meeting for a light lunch. Often JT would join us for the meal so he became sort of an honorary member. On the day I first laughed out loud, the lunch table bore a gift of beautiful and very fragrant roses in a lovely glass vase. Roses were my husband’s favorite flowers. We used to have 86 rose bushes in our southern California backyard so in my mind the vase of flowers represented him. During lunch my friends took turns recalling conversations and telling funny anecdotes about my charming, intelligent, full-of-life man. I had been present during some of these conversations but others were new to me and I was delighted to hear them. These generous women also presented me with a blue memory box from Hallmark. I recall thinking it was way too small to hold my memories and wondering what I should put in it. I ended up using it for the notes and condolence cards I received. We had a lovely lunch and I laughed a little bit with my friends. I remember thanking them and telling them it was the first time I had laughed out loud since August 10th. When I got to the car, I drove around to the back of the shopping center, parked and sobbed. I wanted my husband back.
If you have lost your soul mate you probably have repeatedly experienced the fear and despair eloquently played out by Beethoven’s No.5 also known as Death Knocking at the Door. Initially, your existence is shattered and you feel shell shocked. But in a year, or maybe 5 years or even possibly longer, you will start to feel alive again. You will abandon the shotgun approach to hobbies- some grievers take on multiple craft projects, or sign up for a variety of classes, or buy real estate. You will eventually crave the company of your peers, albeit with possibly new faces and you will regain an appetite for food and camaraderie. You will start to seek out worthwhile activities that will enrich your soul, and give you a sense of purpose. You will stop restricting yourself to the promo certs and realize still being alive is not wrong. Maybe you won’t feel the happiness and sense of security your life held before your soul mate passed but you will feel good again. I promise. And you will laugh out loud. I promise that, too.