On Friday, December 16, 2022, I awoke in my bunk as the tour sleep bus came to a halt. We must have just arrived in Fort Collins, Colorado, for Alaska 5000’s Red 4 Filth tour. I felt the urgency to get out of my sleep space. As I pulled back the curtain, I saw someone walking by, but when I peeked out and looked around, I realized that no one was there. I was the first one awake, but there was another lively presence.
I always choose the first bottom bunk on the left as you’re walking toward the back of the bus. I have no clue as to why I’d choose the closest to the ground with my height, but somehow it felt the safest to me. I didn’t have to consider the possibility of falling out—I’d just roll out and stand up. I did just that, I rolled out and preceded to the back lounge of the bus.
You have to be careful with the back door to the bus; otherwise, it’ll slide close and make a loud banging noise while others are sleeping. You don’t want their morning grouch to come out, so I cautiously closed the door behind me and found myself surrounded by the warmth in that room—it was a drastic change from where we sleep, which is usually freezing.
I immediately felt a rush of emotions come over me and then I burst into tears. I plopped my sobbing self into one of the booths and felt that same lovely presence, but now it was comforting to me. I felt energy surround me as if it were a hug, and there was no mistaking that it was Brit.
A few weeks prior to this, on the road from Austin to Dallas for a show on the tour, I did a recovery meeting on Zoom followed by writing a blog about my friend Brit, who had passed away December 16, 2017 (To read those posts, see Finding Myself While Losing Others Pt1 and Pt2.) I got all the words out that I had been trying to write for a few years, but there wasn’t a proper sense of closure, maybe because it was never the right time or the energy was off. But something about being centered in that very same back lounge, staring up at the infinite passing blue skies that felt perfect.
I had been messaging with Brit’s mom, Trish, the whole time I had been between writing and publishing. I wanted her to be the first to know I’d be writing about her son. Trish was all for it, knowing that I had to tell my story to finally begin to heal a little more.
The day I released the last blog post of that story—“Finding Myself While Losing Others Pt3”—was on Wednesday, December 14, 2022, as we pulled into Boise, Idaho, for a day off on our journey to Salt Lake City as the bus driver needed his mandatory sleep. I messaged Trish the link for the new post, and she agreed to read it later when she wouldn’t be a mess at work. I told her that I was probably ready to visit Reno where I had done The Nutcracker with her son multiple times.
Trish insisted that I let her know when I’d be there and she would make the drive to see me—but if I ever found myself in Boise to look her up.
“I’m in BOISE TODAY! LIKE ACTUALLY! We are here until 1AM,” I exclaimed over Facebook messenger.
“What?!? Where are you??? I am working right now (downtown),” Trish replied.
Needless to say, we made time to meet for coffee when she got off work. We met at the hotel restaurant for coffee. We wound up speaking for over an hour, and the immense amount of healing I felt in that period was a miracle. Everything about this was kismet.
And yet, the entire experience had me wondering whether seeing Brit and feeling him was my imagination or real. “I think it’s a little bit of both, sweetie,” one of my friends told me. Everything about the process of finding some sense of closure was real, though. Brit had been there with me and my heart broke open again that day to be able to love myself and allow myself to be vulnerable with others.
I had been holding onto so much pain that I had no idea I was dealing with daily, but something about being on tour with this group of people with that back lounge being my sanctuary helped me work through so many feeling I had been harboring for years. There was something about being on that bottom bunk seeing Brit walk by that showed me the way to go that morning. There was something about the warmth of the hug that I felt that made me feel safe. There was something in those tears that cleansed my soul of the feelings of regret.
I’m grateful for the opportunity to tell you, my readers, of this story. It doesn’t matter what you believe in, but I do believe that something greater helped me do what I couldn’t do for myself. And I do believe I have the choice to work with that energy or against it. I’m so glad I started to work with the positive flow and have this healing experience.