The Grief Summit

I haven’t written in a couple of weeks. I could say I’ve been busy but really it is because I didn’t feel inspired to write. Writing for me is very specific. I have to feel I need to write to portray an aspect of my life that might help another. I don’t want to just write anything to have something written. There is an emptiness to that method. There was another reason hanging in the shadows and distracting me from being in the moment. I was gearing up for a professional conference that I was going to present at. Was it the presentation? No and yes. The last time I saw all of these people was 2 years ago when Tin was texting me he thought he had the flu. I wish he had gone to the doctor right than but he waited for me to get home. There is unnecessary guilt here, regardless if it is warranted, it is here. Had I only been home, had I only picked a career that didn’t take away valuable time from him. Had I only solved it sooner than he would be here and I wouldn’t be headed to a grief summit.


I knew it was coming. I knew I would see friends and old coworkers that wanted to express their condolences. I knew there would be people who hadn’t heard and would ask how he was and than I’d have to tell them of my loss, which would cause them to feel guilt for asking and I would have guilt for sharing. This was going to be a mountain of emotional experiences. It all came to fruition. Each day was peppered with conversations about how I was holding up. How did I do it? How could I always be so positive? My response was a bit shocking but it was the truth…

“The outside doesn’t always match the inside.”

That caused a variety of responses from silence to people asking me if I needed to seek help and if I was “having bad thoughts”. No. No I am not thinking of joining Tin, The Universe will decide that it is time but your grief goes to such a deep level when someone brings that touchy topic up. Sometimes I feel like a court jester juggling all of these emotions. I guess now I understand the tears of a clown.

I made it through the check-ins but what I didn’t make it through was a simple joke, a side comment meant to jest the jester. It was a comment that would have me laugh at any other time. A simple joke about me being 40 and time was fading to find a husband sent me over the edge. The entire weight of the trip was unbearable. I immediately walked outside, sat on the cement stairs and began to sob. Friends came to my aid realizing that the inside couldn’t be held at bay by the outside. It’s a game of Jekyll and Hyde. As hard as you try, the beast demands attention and freedom.

Once the storm was out of my system, I put my brave face back on and carried on as though the breakdown was just a dream. With the conference over, I piled my stuff in my car and got in the driver’s seat. I took a deep breath and began to sob. This was the first conference I would be heading back to an empty home…

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  • Bryan Martin
    commented 2019-09-15 18:12:16 -0700
    Thank you Kelley Lynn. Putting it down on “paper” is hard but if it helps someone else even the tiniest bit than the process is worth it. <3 <3 <3
  • Kelley Lynn
    commented 2019-09-15 17:45:59 -0700
    Bryan, I write here each Friday, and I just wanted to say I love your writing style and honesty. I will keep reading for sure. I relate to so much of what you say. I do presentations at camp widow and have often felt this way .. the guilt, the sadness, the feeling like you have to be one way in public but inside you are struggling to keep it together… I totally get it… and Im so sorry.