This week, for a future EndNotes column, I interviewed Robin Prince Monroe, a South Carolina woman who lost her daughter to leukemia in 1987 when she was just 6. Robin has survived several other losses since that time, including the loss of her job and her husband's in the recession. (They are both employed again.)
Robin has written seven books on grief. (She's also a painter and one of her art pieces is posted with this.)
I asked her if, in the depths of the losses, she ever felt like running away. She told me this:
I had a suitcase packed with a credit card in it in my closet. Because of all the pain. When I felt so desperate, I would say "OK, I have a choice. I can stay here and deal with this or I can catch a plane and run away." I knew I had a choice. I wasn't stuck. It was a choice. It wasn't being forced on me. You think you are going to leave the pain behind but you bring it with you.
In times of great stress, have you ever felt like running away?
(Painting by Robin Prince Monroe)