How working at the Hollywood Bowl healed my grief

I never think in appreciate at initially sight. I really don’t even believe that in like at to start with sight. I do believe you can meet another person and instantly get a trace.

For me, it’s an involuntary interior voice that pops up and says, “Yeah, I could like this lady.”

At minimum which is how it was when I satisfied Olivia. She was a historical past instructor at Glendale Higher, and I was to be her substitute for the working day. She was taking a single of her classes on a subject journey, and I would train the relaxation. Olivia was crafting out a lesson prepare for me as I walked into her space. She appeared up from her desk and gave me a lovely smile, and I got one particular of the largest hints of my life.

Olivia favored the way I dealt with her classes, so I became her common sub. Once when she was heading to miss several days in a row, she identified as me at dwelling to go in excess of what I desired to execute although she was long gone. After the do the job dialogue was carried out, I questioned her to evening meal. She stated certainly.

So began my 8 a long time and 12 days of Olivia.

I am an avid hiker, and Olivia before long joined me on my Sierra Club Friday night time hikes in the Santa Monica Mountains — our weekly ritual, adopted by frozen yogurt. It turned a person of the highlights of my everyday living. I’m an beginner astronomer, and when I pointed out Jupiter to Olivia a single night she enthusiastically responded, “Oh, wow!” and informed me she’d constantly desired to find out additional about the evening sky. I began pointing out the constellations.

My involuntary voice went off once more, and this time it was way far more than a trace. (What can I say? I’m attracted to folks with a balanced feeling of surprise.)

We went to films, plays and functions with each other, but for a very long time only as great pals. There ended up previous wounds and disappointments that designed her hesitant to move matters to the up coming amount. I so savored her organization that I hung in there. We became finest good friends and then eventually she questioned to remain with me a single night.

I little by little but surely fell in really like with her.


She experienced the medical procedures, the chemo and the radiation. But the breast most cancers experienced been found also late.

8 a long time and 12 times just after our first dinner with each other I sat at the edge of a clinic mattress and viewed her die.

It was the worst day of my life.

I spiraled into despair. I would sit at home at night, surprised to uncover myself by itself. I the moment broke out crying when washing the dishes. My mates identified methods to retain me occupied. They gave me guides to examine on grief and often named to discuss. 1 of the textbooks warned that persons at times offer with grief by receiving missing in operate. The author instructed that this process of grieving was just a postponement of the ache and not the cure.

But I disagreed. I thought: But what if it’s the correct career? What if it’s operate that can help with the grief? I believed about this concept for a handful of times and then used for a career as an usher at the Hollywood Bowl.


A lot of new music.

That’s what I essential. And I acquired the position. Just about every night time, week right after week, I would be bathed in humankind’s biggest creation. It occurred to me that the Bowl experienced to be stuffed with good inner thoughts. I necessarily mean, who’s disappointed about a night at the Hollywood Bowl?

So I would stand at the bottom of an aisle in my white shirt and black tie, prepared to be of help. Usually, I’d be at the Bowl on the Fourth of July for an evening of rousing songs and fireworks. The virus has taken all that absent for now. I skip investing my evenings supporting folks discover their way. I definitely appreciated that part of the job. Getting of services, I realized, is one particular of the most effective methods out of a depression. It actually did enable.

But it was the audio that did the main function for me. Mozart’s concertos designed me swoon with their natural beauty. Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy” lifted me up. In live performance 1 night, Bob Marley’s son sang to me that “Every small matter gonna be alright.” James Taylor and Carole King both equally reminded me about the value of possessing a good friend. Van Morrison provided up some difficult really like. He informed me: “You’ve acquired to roll with the punches … that’s the only way to go.”

It was all through one of these live shows that I had the breakthrough revelation that improved everything and commenced my correct therapeutic.

The most basic reality about my knowledge with Olivia flooded into my mind.

When Olivia knew she was going to die, she made a decision to invest extra time with me.

The author has prepared 8 novels, such as, “Company of Thieves.” He life in Los Angeles.

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