Room Number 23


The curtain was left open, across from me was the scan machine room.

A bed with wheels was pushed right in front of it, carrying a woman in her early nineties.

She looked at me, I looked at her.

Her stare stayed a little longer, kind of frozen on me.

The door opened and she was wheeled in.

The door didn’t close.

Two young technicians lifted her up from the bed and gently placed her under the scan machine.

The door closed.

Another bed with wheels arrived outside of it.

Another woman in her 80s or 90s, same look. Same stare.

Same technicians. Lifted her up, placed her under the scan.

Door closed.

I lay there watching.

This same scene kept repeating.

I was on the other side of the hallway.

Room number 23. My favorite number.

This was yesterday.

This was the ER.

I had a high fever and strep throat. Nothing serious.

But I think the universe did not like what I was thinking when I was starting to get sick.

I was thinking the wrong things.

So very wrong.

Do you know what the thought said?

“Oh no, you are getting sick.

You can’t get sick you have to work really hard this week.”

It didn’t say “oh no, you are getting sick try and rest more, make sure you slow down.

It said, “speed up Christina, speed up, get as many things done as possible before you really go down.

And as I sat in room number 23 looking at all the beautiful old souls wheeled under the CT Scan I knew what was happening.

This was about what I was there to witness.

To remember. To be reminded of.

I was there for three hours and in those three hours, I saw many beds on wheels going inside the scan room.

And no it’s not that I had not seen this before.

I had seen it many times.

Hundreds of times over the years as a caregiver, but the universe lately is working on something really hard.

I think it wants me to completely surrender.

And that is the one thing I have not done since the day he died 11 years ago.

I have not surrendered not even for a moment.

I held on to everything.  

I got really good at holding on to everything I created in my life after loss.

As if these things were my saviors.

Haha, it’s funny, right?

As a matter of fact, it’s ridiculous that I keep needing the reminder.

I am mortal.

The people I love are mortal.

I don’t get to stay.

I don’t get to keep anything.

I am responsible for one thing and one thing only.

Memories. To make memories.

This is my one and only responsibility.

I do that and the whole universe is as it should be.

I do that and I get to feel free.

I do that and the people in my life are also happy.

I do that and I get to be an example for others.

I do that and I am done.

My soul did its job.

I have fulfilled my destiny.

I made all of my dreams come true.

That was it.

That was my job.

I didn’t come here for anything else.

Didn’t I know this already?

Didn’t anyone tell me?

Maybe they did.

But I don’t remember.

I got lost when he died.

I was looking for meaning. Not memories. Meaning.

I found meaning and I thought I was the luckiest girl in the world.

After all, isn’t everyone looking for meaning?

Well, meaning doesn’t provide memories.

It provides work, legacy, achievement.

Not bad right? All good.

And yes you get some memories from that.

But not the ones that you think about as you are being wheeled towards the CT scan room. Meaning is a great thing but only if it comes from the time you spent with the people you loved.

Many things are going to be changing this year for me.

I hope my lessons will impact you as well.

But I have to be honest with you, this is the part I have surrendered from.

I am removing the world from my shoulders. And putting it back to where it was. (Click to Tweet!)

I am about to teach three classes this fall and I made this promise to myself.

Christina, just simply remind people how to make memories after loss.

That is what Life Reentry is about.

Help them put the world down from their shoulders.

Show them which way the beach is.

Introduce them to their new identity and run with them towards life.

That’s what my teaching will be about this fall.

Same curriculum, just a whole other attitude.

If you are someone ready for life after loss go here. (class begins Sept 12th)

If you are a professional who wants to help others reenter life go here.

And if this letter is more than enough for you to lift the world off your shoulders then that’s more than enough.

As long as you know you got this.

Then I am good with that too. Wow…that feels so good to write.

With lots of new memories and lighter shoulders,

Christina

*Featured image taken a year after my loss. I wish I could speak to her and tell her these things.

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Christina Rasmussen

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