How to escape a big bad funk

How to escape a big bad funk

For the last five days, I’ve been in a freaky funk. I felt like a zombie, and Halloween is still weeks away. I sat in my pajamas and didn’t answer the phone or e-mails.


Nothing. Not a batch of chocolate chip cookies consumed in the raw dough stage, or big gridiron wins by my Bulldogs, Rebels or Saints could pull me out of it.

I was thinking of jumping off my back porch, but all I would get is a sprained ankle.

Loss. That’s what caused this depression. The world lost a wonderful woman when my friend, Mike, died last Wednesday. I’m wondering why I’m left here and who’s going to fill her shoes.  Of course, no one can.

As I pondered these questions I walked out back into my secret garden – it’s a secret because it’s so messy and unsightly that I don’t want anyone else see it – all grown up in weeds and uninvited botanical guests.

Imagine my surprise when I saw a single bloom on my ginger lily which was about to be choked out by a bamboo plant that I can’t kill. That wouldn’t be so remarkable except that Mike gave me that ginger lily five years ago.  It’s never bloomed.  Five years, not a single bloom. 

The foliage is lovely so I didn’t really care so much, but I thought of her every time I watered that plant.  What was wrong with me that I couldn’t make it bloom?  I complained to her and she said “Be patient and treat it nice, it will bloom.” I think that must have been her philosophy of life.

How strange that it bloomed as she was leaving us.  I have a slice of her life still thriving in my yard. I will nourish it, divide it, and give it to my friends. I will see her smile as I give it away. 

That’s what Mike was all about.  Giving it away, and not caring what came back.

Emily Jones is a retired journalist who lives in Starkville, Mississippi.  She edits a website for bouncing baby boomers facing retirement.  She welcomes comments at

6 thoughts on “How to escape a big bad funk

  1. Thanks for the article about Mike. Hers was a life very well lived and over way too soon!

  2. Emily,
    That is a beautiful article, as an owner of some of Mike Lilies I know what you mean. She was my sister and her loss is almost unbearable but it is somehow mitigated to know that others loved her so much and knew her so well. Thanks so much for your loving, kind words they served us all as a healing balm.

  3. Pam, I’m sorry I didn’t get you meet you. I think you live in Oxford, if I’m not mistaken. I enjoyed seeing Father Joe again. My best wishes and prayers go out to you and your wonderful family. Mike was one of the first people I met when I moved to Starkville in 1971 and she has always been very special. I also have her recipes to remind me of her everytime I cook. She still lives in all our hearts.


  4. Pam, Father John said it best. She never “wasted” a moment of her life and so many people are better off for having known her. Her life was too short but she did more than many people who hang around 40 years more.

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