Whether it was Confucius or Yogi Berra or a host of others who claimed to have said it, it’s disgustingly true: “Everywhere you go, there you are.”

Running away to Maui didn’t mean I was able to leave all the pain and grief from the last few months back on the mainland. It just meant I’d have different scenery to look at while I dealt with my issues of loss.

Exercise gets the “feel-good” serotonin flowing, and I either swam, walked, or did both every single day of the trip. Often, I took different routes about town, discovering on one such detour a man dumping wheelbarrows of overripe mangos into his trash. I wasn’t quick enough to snap a photo of him, but the heavily-laden trees of this fruit were everywhere, and at the time of our visit, you had to be extra vigilant about where you stepped!

Every town on Maui has plenty of helpful, friendly, support groups where you can hang out and talk about what’s bugging you to your heart’s content. I found one such place just a half-mile from the condo, and made it my practice to visit most mornings and get myself mindfully centered before I took to the pool to exercise.

Talking with others who have the same life struggles has been a godsend when I’ve most wanted to just pull the covers over my head and howl. It’s funny how, when you reach out your hand for help, you often end up helping others, and I made quite a few new friends in Lahaina. We plan to remain in “infrequent, but always available” contact, and I’ve added them to my lifeline list: Together we can do what we could never do alone.

Besides exercise and talk-therapy, another way to let your body and mind heal is through escapism. I went to “Warren and Annabel’s Magic and Comedy Show,” and laughed my head off at the entertaining illusionists. I also went to see “Star Trek: Into Darkness,” and fed my inner Trekkie.

Did I come home happy, healthy, and whole? Well, mostly. Life on life’s terms has its ups and downs and really rough patches, and the events of 2013 keep coming at me, and are still managing to kick my butt. But during my getaway I did manage to get a little better handle on my grief—and the best tan of my entire life!

Aloha! Stay tuned!