autumn days

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Sharing the Process

Dearest Sister-in-law KR,

I hadn't heard from you, so sent a thank you card and deposited money yesterday.  I am glad that is also what you said is okay.  It is comforting to know you have Paula as your mother-in-law.  I've been going through things in my attempts to find other things (unsuccessfully searching for house plans for radon surveys and treatment in our home) and found your mom's driver's license and Taiwanese health insurance cards, M's medical file on your mom's health, etc.  I am handing many of these over to (brother-in-law) KE, as I am sure he will treasure them more than my children for now.  I also found your dad's favorite baseball cap.  There are so many files and spaces that one collects and fills through their lives.  Baseball cards.  So much.  So I am moving on things like the big vases, the entry way cabinet and its decorations, the water cooler, things I am not attached to.  I am not moving M's clothing or basic possessions.  I'm not ready.  It feels comforting to have them around, and we don't need the space yet.  I imagine my children wanting to touch and wear M's clothing sometime.

As a matter of survival, I have been very productive, moving forward on big projects, making 25 phone calls about our home projects on Tuesday when the kids went back to school.  I have a long list of things that need to be done.  I am trying to get to the most important ones each day: bills, grocery shopping, new home construction details.  It will all happen eventually.

Right now Charlotte is having her third morning of nap off my body.  I am so very excited!  This is when I pile and box up all the things the big kids have not put away while they play in the backyard. 

Our friend will borrow (your daughter) Y's clothing.  I need a new organizational system for all the clothes.  The closet is not longer able to hold everything.  We are so very grateful for having these clothes from Y.  We have hardly purchased anything for our children and have saved so much money this way.

I am thinking of doing a babysitting swap with a friend so I can get coverage when I have evening/weekend things I need to do alone.  Then I won't need to pay a babysitter quite so much.  I am currently hiring my friend to babysit one or two nights a week when she's available.  A friend I hadn't seen in a couple years with a son Charlotte's age will watch her once a week for a few weeks.  A neighbor is offering to share her nanny time a few hours a week for a while.  So in those times I plan to run errands, catch up on communications, meet the inspectors and installers, call banks, etc.  It's an endless list.  It feels really good to have time without holding my sweet needy babe to get things done.  So very good.

Thank you for sharing with me your processing.  I process my grief here and there and everywhere.  I wake up and go say hello to M in the prayer room.  I open up the door and curtain each day.  I talk with him, imagine what he would say about things, try to imagine him here standing in the kitchen with me, hold his presence here with me as much as I can, fantasize about watching our wedding video sometime soon.  Our family talks about him a lot.  Liam's wish for the new year is "Papa come back alive."  M is ever-present here with us in our processing.  I say goodnight to him every night.  I laughed through much of our support group meeting, shaking off the density of such devastating loss, collectively unimaginable, so many tears.  I think part of my goal with the groups is to help myself and others process and to shake off some density, to accept our new normal as painful yet possible.

I treasure having you in our lives.  I thought of you when opening a bank account yesterday.  I am so very grateful for you and how much you show your love to us all.  I know you are in great pain right now, as are we all, and it shifts and flows and moves.  We will always feel this great loss and for the rest of our lives we may burst into tears about the mixed tape of memories coming through our hearts.  My mixed tape plays all day long.


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