When the pandemic hit, my speaking engagements got canceled. Once everyone pivoted, I started getting virtual engagements and the occasional physically-distanced live ones.
But I’ve noticed something different about myself.
I get misty more often–more emotional. Early on, a friend asked, “Have you thought about how you might handle it if you have an emotional moment? Back then I would practice so many times, by the time I hit the stage I had cried it all out. The story was still emotional but I didn’t cry. Early on my emotions were so raw, there was a greater likelihood floodgates would open. I really didn’t want that to happen.
These days it’s a moment, a pause, where I have to catch my breath and the epic-ness of the story overwhelms me for a moment and I actually see Charles’s, those beautiful curls blowing in the wind. My voice catches and becomes strained and I have to stop, give the moment some respect. My audience gives me that grace. They are with me and they are rooting for me. I feel it.
This is a story I’ve written about and told hundreds of times now. But it still tugs at my heart. And why is it more often now? I’m not really sure. All I know is that grief is the tie I have to my child. There’s no need to beat myself up about it. It’s just something I’ve noticed and will accommodate.