March 19, 2016.  

Eric died three weeks ago. His funeral was two weeks ago.

We have to get out of the house, too many memories, too much pain. But where can we go?  

Ahh, the cabin – our escape and our refuge. Asylum. 

I think I drove. Someone had to have driven, our car was there . . . so were Marianne, Joey, and I.  

I can’t stay inside, so I wander aimlessly through the woods around the cabin.  

Thinking about how to not think.

It was cold, still snow on the ground. I go around again . . . and again.

Where the hell are my keys?  

I must have had keys because the car is here. You need keys to drive a car. 

Retrace my steps . . . three times, thank God for the snow.  

Maybe if I walk the circuit in reverse.   

They’re not there, so . . . I check the places I know I haven’t been. Twice.

Now there’s footprints everywhere.  

Check inside the cabin, again. Check the car for the fourth time.

I’d better tell Marianne – maybe she took them. Nope.

Where the hell are my keys?  

The squirrels! They take shiny things. How did they get them out of my pocket?  

I hate those dang squirrels. Why did they do this to me? What did I ever do to them?

Now we’re trapped here, maybe forever. How much food do we have? 

What if we starve? 

We could hunt . . . how do you cook squirrel?

Fortunately, an understanding friend went to our home in Phoenix and drove up to the cabin with spare keys. We made it! We didn’t starve.  

The next summer our cabin neighbor came over and asked if I knew why there were car keys on his property. I’ll never understand why the squirrels hid them there.

We can laugh about it now, but until you’re in it you can’t imagine how dense grief fog can be.

In this new year be kind to yourself, and patient with yourself. I wish you all a fog-free, squirrel-free year filled with new meaning and purpose.