The sun is shining, and the birds are singing. It is looking to be a beautiful day. I had this in my awareness, yet I lay in bed wondering what reason I had to get up. My bladder was full but I found that, if I lay still enough, it wasn’t really a compelling reason to get out of bed.
As I lay there, I thought of the activities of the day. There is a Summer Solstice gathering of Tom and my mutual friends. I have not had much contact with them in the past few months – an occasional email from one or two of them, nothing more. I am still contemplating making the drive. Seeing as how Tom died on the first day of Spring, I should be happy to celebrate the coming of a new season. But I wonder what emptiness the new season will hold. I wonder what extent of numbness I will experience as I try to mingle at the event.
Now, before you comment, please know that I have been reading and talking about the process of grief. I am not alone in my apathy. It is normal to feel and act this way.
Is it only coincidence that the roses on my table are a near match to those on the cover of the book, A Grief Observed? I bought the book yesterday and wasn’t surprised to see the familiar image. In fact, it was comforting in an odd way, as are the words C.S. Lewis uses to describe his own survival of “the mad midnight moments.” The book is thin and while the writing a raw, unpolished, and even hard to follow at times, I realize that I am only observing a fraction of of it. My mind drifts off to someplace else as I am reading. I imagine that I will read it over and over.
I think about my assigned run. Coach was kind enough to replace my rest day with a three mile run. It hardly seems worth the effort of changing my clothes though. I wonder if I can do my long run instead. Tomorrow will be a busier day. Tomorrow I will see my kids once more. Even better, I will be able to have them home with me again. I’ve missed them tremendously.
On top of reuniting with the boys, tomorrow holds the significance of being Tom’s Birthday. It would have been his 50th birthday and he was making grand plans for a bicycle trip down the coast to the southern part of California. I am saddened that he was not able to make the trip one final time before he died.
I thought that I might visit the Catholic Church in honor of Tom. It was what he did on the Birthdays, as well as anniversaries of his own parents’ deaths. I never knew if it brought him comfort or if he just did it because it was what his parents had asked for. I figure I will find out.
It is not that I believe any less (or more) in God than I did before. I am praying more now than ever before. Among other things I pray for Tom, that everything that our parents taught us about death and the afterlife is true. I pray for the kids and myself, that we will find a new happiness in time and that we will be able to continue our lives without further aftershocks of the earthquake of Tom’s death. I pray that I will be able to make enough money to pay for the house that we live in, to make the house payment that was built for two, and not subject the kids to the loss of their friends too.
There is so much to consider, to worry about. I suppose the apathy that I have been allowed to experience this week was just a reprieve from all the worry and responsibility. In some ways, this was my own experience of “bereavement camp.” Maybe the emotional intensity that I have been experiencing was good in some way.
I can begin to feel the return of the pressures of life. I look around me at a house that had been immaculate since the boys have left. It is a product of lifelessness rather than my attention. It has been more of a “house” than a home this week. I am looking forward to the return of signs of life.
Our empty refrigerator is just a symptom of where I haven’t been (at least mentally). I have allowed my refrigerator to become so empty while the kids were away that I had only enough milk for a cappuccino (rather than my routine latte). It is not that I wasn’t aware that they milk was getting low, I just miscalculated the need. I let my rations get too low.
I was actually anticipating having to shop for DD’s arrival. In the back of my mind though, I was ready for his continued absence. While I let myself get a little annoyed at him for not coming on Father’s Day and not communicating his plans for this weekend, I also recognize that he is not Tom. I should not put the same expectations on him to support the kids (or me).
I am certain of the coming of BoBo and YaYa. With the anticipation of the boys return, I will need to do some real shopping. I will need to replenish the food, and prepare for a week of the new norm. I imagine that this may be a little different than before their week at camp. There is a bit more yearning in this – which has a healing effect.