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My Nose Remembers

Monday, June 11, 2012
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It has been said that grief comes in waves and I have definitely felt this.  I feel like I have to just ride out these waves like a surfboard.   For me, it is certain smells that bring on the waves of grief.  It is my nose that gets me in trouble.

Let me explain.  I think I have an above average sense of smell.  While driving down the street, I swear that I can smell a smashed skunk about 2 blocks before my kids.   I still remember the smell of a woman’s perfume when I first saw Titanic.  It was a popular scent at that time but I can’t remember the name of it.  Whenever I smell that perfume, I jump back to watching that movie for the first time. 

Lately my keen sense of smell has mad me sad.  One of the washrooms at work has an automated spray deodorant dispenser.  Instead of a fresh linen or lavender scent, the scent that it spritzes out smells very close to the cologne that Joe used to wear (strange choice for a women’s washroom).  The first time I went into this washroom with this new spray, the flood of memories hit me like a ton of bricks.  I experienced this wave of nostalgia and grief, thinking of Joe because what this smell reminded me of.  I thought of Joe all dressed up, smelling good, and ready to go out or go to work. 

That’s all I need when I am trying to p…., I mean, freshen up, is to be flooded with these memories.  At first, I completely avoided this bathroom and went to a different floor.  Then I thought this is ridiculous – I can’t hide from this bathroom and more importantly, I can’t hide from these memories.  I realized this is all about how I am choosing to approach this.  Instead of hiding or avoiding, I need to let this wave of grief come over me and try to relish these memories and smile instead of feeling sad.  Hopefully these waves will get smaller but in the meantime, I think of my Joe regularly Monday thru Friday.

Now. if only I can try to figure out a positive thing about smelling the skunks….  

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