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On election eve, I was amidst a group of politically like-minded souls, watching television in anticipation of seeing the first woman break the glass ceiling of the top job in the United States. Not only were we wrong, we were dumbfounded. We were blindsided. We were in shock. I watched as mouths dropped open and tears flowed. The disbelief on people’s faces was devastating.

For me, it hit even harder. To quote the late Yogi Berra: it was “déjà vu all over again.” When Peter died, I was blindsided, sucker-punched, and caught unaware of the sadness I would experience. The death of my sweet Peter was the most monumental loss I had ever suffered. It sent me floundering in a nightmare of confusion and shock. The election night results brought back the tortuous pain, the hideous distress, and the cavernous lack of reality. I wanted to go back in time and do it all over again, in hopes that the outcome would change. The bad dream of someone so divisive becoming President wouldn’t register in my brain. This loss brought back the pain of Peter’s death and I came home, fell into bed, and sobbed myself to sleep.

When I woke up on 11/9, praying for a miracle, I was shocked to find out the nightmare had indeed occurred. With 9/11 there was hope. With 9/11, we pulled together as a nation, Republicans and Democrats united. There was good will and kindness everywhere. With 11/9 there is unrest and vitriol. As a woman, I feel marginalized. I feel for all the racial minorities in our country. I fret for the LGBT community. I agonize over the Muslims who will suffer. I weep for the immigrants, who may be deported. I cry for the environment which cannot be restored.

The election nightmare upsettingly catapulted me back to the first stages of grief. I had to again accept the reality of the loss. The election is a loss like the death of a loved one, and somehow seems as powerful. I will have to process and blog and work through the pain of the demise of many of my freedoms. I will have to come to terms that I have to push myself to work harder to help others in this world. One of my friends is forming a group of politically compatible friends who will get together monthly to discuss the situation and find new ways to forge ahead. I have also found that hugging my friends helps. I have made a point of reaching out to my friends and asking for hugs and consolation.

The other bright spot is that I live in California and pot will be legal here so I could have solace in weed!

I have to believe that Leonard Cohen’s recent death is a sign that a great loss has occurred. I still can’t listen to Hallelujah, a song played in times of mourning, without sobbing. I do, however, cherish his line from Avalanche. “You say you’ve gone away from me/But I can feel you when you breathe.” — Leonard Cohen. I know if Peter were here, he would wrap his arms around me and say, “it will get better.” I choose to believe in the positivity of Peter.

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