Last week, in the middle of a workday, I got a call about a death in the family. I was shocked and sad – Somboun, the guy who died, was young, in his thirties, my husband’s age or so, and seemed in full health. He slipped away in his sleep, without warning.
I was busy, out of the office and about 10 minutes from a client meeting, so after a few quick moments of talking to family, I had to put on my game face and focus on the client and the project. After the meeting, I had the ride back to the office to think and talk, more phone time, and then a little bit of decompressing with the other riders in the car. I talked about my relationship with him, about his relationship to the family, about meeting him and what he was like.
When we got back to the office, to the hub-bub of lunchtime and visitors, I was ready to shut down completely. I think I’d finally had enough time for it to sink in. The funny thing is, I really, really wanted bread. I had a salad, dressing, and some lovely smoked trout Dave had brought back from up north, but I wanted salt and crust and chew. So, I went out and got a Zingerman’s sea salt bagel. I never eat the salt bagels, tho I love salt, they’re usually too salty for me.
Usually I bolt my food, unhealthy I know. It’s just before I notice, I’ve eaten it all up. This time, I sat alone, not wanting to be social, and chewed thoughtfully. Perhaps in response to the news of the death, I was really able to focus on the taste of the food, its texture, the crunchy and sharp arugula, the bite of the garlic in the dressing, and thick and chewy bagel.
Nothing like the shock of mortality to make being alive so tactile.