Saturday, June 13, 2009

Holiday in Grief

Now that things within my family have settled a bit, I feel like I have more time and gumption to devote to my inner life. I've got a lot of Prozac Swap Certificates to cash in. So I'm taking a Holiday in Grief.

Most travelers who have been to Grief will tell you that it's always a bummer. When your friends tell you they are going to Grief for a vacation, you never say: "Wow, that's great, I'd love to go there!" You know they are in for months of misery. In fact, this year's official advertising slogan of the Visit Grief Council sums it up: "Grief: For the Hurt of Your Life."

Just getting to Grief is painful. The shocking route gets you there the fastest: Loved one dead in an automobile accident; huge layoffs at work; significant other leaving you for a rock star; etc. But there's also the scenic route: Lengthy terminal illness; realization your youth is behind you; never making pro; etc. The slow route is the 30-year mortgage of pain. The term payoff is the same, but the pain dribbles out day by day instead of exploding all at once. But it doesn't matter what route you take, they'll all bring you to Grief, sooner or later.

It's easy to get lost in Grief. Some travellers to Grief take the bypass, but I don't recommend this. The problem with the bypass is that it spits you out in Denial. The only way back home is through Grief, anyway, so just save your time and go through Grief.

Still, what can you say about a country who's national dishes are chocolate ice cream, pasta and wine? The Grief National Academy of Cuisine produces more comfort food chefs than any other country in the world. Try the all-you-can-eat buffets that every Grief restaurant offers. On the flip side, people also go there for the weight-loss program. Pounds and inches can be lost quite rapidly with out any hunger pangs. I think the weight loss program in Grief is even faster than the weight loss program in Love. Aside from the food, though, there's lots of cool stuff to be bought in Grief. Cars, clothing, and weekends at spas are all hot items in Grief. Credit cards make it easy to postpone the consequences of overspending.

The thing is, though, you never forget your time in Grief. A reminder pops up; maybe a picture of your lost loved one or wrinkle in your face. Your heart will constrict and you'll feel like you're right back in Grief. The Grief Advertising Council had it right with last year's advertising motto: "Once you've been to Grief, you'll always go back."

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