The Pharmacy

Hannah had just passed away, and I had to go to the pharmacy to refill a prescription.  I was still very sick with grief and could barely speak at the time.  Everything was so crushingly dark.  My mom was still in town and took me to the pharmacy to pick up what I needed.

Usually getting that prescription refilled was a simple process that would take me no more than five minutes, but something went wrong with the prescription of a customer in front of me, which caused me to be there a bit longer.  I know it was longer, because of the music.

The pharmacy probably used one of those commercial satellite music stations to provide background music.  Those are pretty common, and I have heard music at this pharmacy many times before.  Usually, the music is rather consistent.  Be it adult contemporary, or country, or dance music, but not the three songs I heard that day.

Okay, so that is no big deal.  I mean, yes, Hannah liked it a lot, but it wasn’t or isn’t anything meaningful.  No big deal.  I mean, it is the first and only time I’ve ever heard that song used on a store’s background music, but that doesn’t mean anything.  It grabbed my attention because I know Hannah used to play it often, but there was nothing more to that.

Okay…Ellie Goulding followed by Weezer?  That’s odd.  Kind of an eclectic mix for background music, but still not anything too crazy.  Of course, it was Hannah’s favorite Weezer song.  Another song she would regularly listen to.  And wouldn’t it be nice if we were on an island in the sun playing and having fun together.  I wonder if that island might be something else.  Nah, you just miss her.  Just because they played two of her favorite songs that are pretty different from each other doesn’t mean anything.  You’re being a weirdo in your grief.

What in the actual fuck?!?!  For those of you who don’t know, Hannah died on our three year wedding anniversary.  Listen to the lyrics of this song (which she also loved) and try to tell me she wasn’t trying to talk to me.  Yes, these are all popular songs, and yes, they are the kind of songs you might hear on some adult contemporary stations, but these three in combo, at that time, in that order, as crazy as it sounds, I sincerely believe it was her.

Here is how I took it:

The Ellie Goulding song:  “Hey, pay attention.  I need you to listen!”

The Weezer song:  “There are good days ahead, and we’ll be playing and having fun eventually still.”

The Pink song:  “I didn’t know this would lead to this so soon and I’d be taken away from you.”

Now, I fully understand that this was likely coincidence and my mind was just telling me what I wished I could hear from her.  I get that.  I understand how powerful thoughts can be.  My belief that it was Hannah trying to tell me those things gave me actual comfort at a time I desperately needed something, anything to help me get through.

By the time I got my prescription and was nearly sprinting out to the car to avoid a scene, there were tears streaming down my face.  I felt like she was telling me to keep going.  It is something I really needed to believe.

Was it Hannah, or was it my brain?  Does it matter?

Right now, the world is pretty scary.  People who have been stretched and pulled are beginning to snap.  People are being needlessly hurt and it has been going on for years, just getting increasingly worse.   We are all being bombarded with negativity over and over on a nearly consistent basis.  And our thoughts matter.

Our thoughts that can make a difference in how we survive.  They won’t always be the deciding factor, but they always play a part.  When I needed to believe Hannah talked to me through the canned music at the pharmacy, I did.  I took out of those songs what I needed to.  The fact that a large part of me still believes that it was her is besides the point.  Because then my thoughts are telling me I’m not alone.  Either way, the thoughts help me keep going.

We can’t tune out.  We can’t stop being exposed to the negativity that permeates our society.  In fact, I really, honestly believe that people’s unwillingness to deal with problems while using the often touted excuse of “self-care” is one of the biggest reasons the problems seem to be getting worse.  But we can’t be negative all of the time either.

So what do we do?

We talk about the good.  We remember the good.  We notice the good.  We pay attention to the good.  We look for the things we need to be able to keep going in all of the things around us.  We notice the people regularly doing something every day for other people that often go unnoticed.

We don’t quit talking about the bad things.  The bad things need to be addressed.  They need to be brought to light.

But we have to balance the force, Anakin.

You can talk about mystical energies and balance in the universe and “the force” all you want to, but even for the skeptics, you can’t deny that we as humans are more likely to feel good when we notice the good things in the world.  That’s just fact.

That day at the pharmacy made absolutely clear that our thoughts are very important.

If we all start paying attention to and being grateful for the positives in life, we will do more positive things.  If we all do more positive things, then we will have a more positive world.  If we notice the world is more positive, we will be even more positive.  Things can get better very quickly in a world like that.

For every bad thing that happens, there are millions of amazing things that go unnoticed.

So let’s start pointing them out.

  • I woke up
  • I was not out of my white mocha for this morning’s cup
  • I talked with my friends
  • I have soul mates
  • My family is okay
  • My cats are cute
  • I have shelter
  • I have clothing
  • I am loved
  • I do not have to go to the pharmacy today
  • I am about to go get breakfast, so…have a great day!  




Author: Josh Wrenn

Cancer survivor, wanna-be artist, musician, author, and all around good guy.

6 thoughts on “The Pharmacy”

  1. A friend told me the story of how he heard a song that reminded him of his grandmother who had died years before that triggered sobbing in him. It’s strange how grieving and mourning can hit you at weird times. Sometimes we harden our hearts to the process and in that moment of vulnerability we just lose it. I am glad you are grieving through words here, its very healthy to do so.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Yes, with all my heart, I believe I was blessed with messages in songs in very unusual situations shortly after my husband died in 2004. Astoundingly unusual situations that leave no room for doubt. Thank you for sharing. We do have so much to still be grateful for = and I believe it falls on those of us who have been so gifted to keep the positive alive in the world around us in any way possible. Wonderful post.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Have had similar experiences regarding my dad, which you’ve no doubt read on my blog. The cynic in me says that it’s coincidence, but I WANT to believe that they’re messages. I CHOOSE to believe they are. After watching the TV coverage of the latest shootings for practically 48 hours straight, I chose to turn off the TV today. And I just watched a video of people lining up to hug Dallas police officers. And instead of crying more about the state of things, I cried at the good people that are still out there. We’re just being drowned out by a very vocal and violent minority. But we ARE the majority. We ARE the love in the world.


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