I love making stuff happen. So I was particularly excited on a sunny unseasonably warm Monday morning to welcome Heather Erickson into my home to pilot one of the new Sequel Makers initiatives.
Heather's brainchild is simple and powerful…Sequel Makers usually have stuff from their departed loved one sitting in boxes that get remembered and forgotten and remembered and forgotten over the years. Sequel Makers helping other Sequel Makers unearth these memories and perhaps get unstuck around them is in my opinion the antidote doubting that I didn’t do it good enough.
My box (down to one over a quarter of a century since Heidi’s passing) needed attention. Heather supported me in taking a look at greeting cards, photos and dimestore trinkets that me and my first wife Heidi exchanged over the couple years we dated and were married. The process (about an hour for me) was emotional but not painful and I pretty quickly realized that the memory of Heidi would not be diminished if I disposed of the stuff, (‘cause it is just stuff) or put it away for another twenty five years. I didn’t forget that Heidi LOVED giving cards and notes, I hadn’t forgotten that she was an aspiring comedian, and it is impossible for me to forget the good times.
My relationship with Heidi’s family after her passing was a lot like I imagine a messy divorce looks like. I shared this with Heather before we opened the box. I explained that in their pain they tried to own the memory of Heidi and went so far as to ask the Vatican to rubber stamp the idea that we were never married. With the wisdom of a Monk sitting atop a mountain Heather said…
Well… maybe these love letters are the last word on the matter.”
I didn’t cry then… but I am as I write this. Jack’s has proven to me over and over that the best healers are those who have walked a mile in our shoes.
By: Jeff Myhre
Jeff is passionate about connecting people and creating partnerships. He has served adults with disabilities in the Twin Cities for the past 15 years and is excited about supporting JCC's caregivers & volunteers and growing JCC's presence in the community. As a former caregiver himself, Jeff has experience with the challenges that caregiving brings. In his free time, Jeff enjoys running around Lake Harriet, collecting vinyl, and teaching improv for persons living with cancer. Jeff lives in the southern metro with his wife, Jennifer, and his chihuahua, Sandie.