Sunday, September 8, 2013

The need for grief

Bit by bit, we are reclaiming normal life through the completion of stalled house projects involving minor construction to the reorganization of drawers and closets.  Most people did this stuff before their kids went back to school.  For us, that wasn't impossible, but certainly wasn't a palatable option when faced with the choice of spending rich time with family.  And thus, the irony: I say that we're reclaiming our life when really the rich stuff of life happened in the chaos of this summer.  On my deathbed, I won't be thinking about how organized my linen closet was in my 30's. 

That being said, this weekend we're currently on the downward slope of has felt a bit like a recharging of batteries, at least a beginning of a recharge.  We're all very aware that true grieving has not happened yet, the sort of healthy grieving that lets you move forward. 

On Friday, I had a work lunch that happened to be at my father-in-law's favorite restaurant, one that we had tried to take him to on Father's Day this year, just a short three months ago.  As I walked into the restaurant on a remarkably similar sunny day, I remembered acutely how I stood with him next to the artificial rock facade of the building while my husband parked the car.  He was very wobbly on his feet and leaned a great deal of his body weight on me as we approached the restaurant.  At one point, I remember going in to ask the hostess something and gave my kids instructions to keep an eye on their grandad while I was gone. 

This memory propelled me towards a funk that lasted well through the rest of that afternoon.  As I sat through the work lunch, I found myself spacing out as I remembered the time a few years before that my family had sat at the neighboring table with my father-in-law.

While we took long weekends away in the woods, we never took a proper vacation all summer.  We never had that kind of uninterrupted string of not less than five days of sitting still.  During our scheduled vacation, we were in the week of the funeral. 

This post needs to end.  The ensuing ones should be shorter, truer to the reason for this blog.

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