With all that has been going on, I have been doing a lot of thinking about my own life and how I would deal with this if it were my spouse, or my child. It is not something I want to think about. It is something I feel I have been forced to think about. How would I deal with it??? After losing my mom, going back to work was a break – a break from the commotion, a break from the grief. It gave me the chance to focus on other things. If it were one of my children or my husband, I don’t know if I could go right back to work – back to “normalcy”. My mom and I talked everyday, several times a day, but we did not live together and this is a huge factor that my dad and brother have to deal with. I miss her terribly, but when I go home, my own family is still there for me.
My dad went back to work right away after my mom died. For him it was cathartic. He was surrounded by my brothers, friends and neighbors and for him, it has been just what he needs. With Tim, is has only been four days. He went to a hockey game on Friday and has joined all of us for big family dinners. He is playing softball today. Until the wake and funeral tomorrow, there is nothing else for him to do.
Some might question how he could do these things already, while others think he is doing what is best for him, but the truth is, there is no right answer. I would imagine that coming home to an empty house is not easy. There would be no one to greet you, no one to sit with at meals. An empty house is a reminder of being alone. Being with others is comforting to my dad and to Tim and it is giving them the distraction that they need.
Losing their wives, the women that they shared their life with…there are reminders everywhere. Being away from those reminders seems to be what they need right now. Of course, they need to mourn. Mourning is how they will deal with their emotions. It is essential in the healing process. Life is never going to be the same for them and there is no timetable for when it will get better. We all will be there to support them.
Family will be our biggest support system. I cannot imagine how this last month would have been without our extended family. We are together all of the time. Even last night, in the midst of all this grief, 30 of us got together for dinner. It was fun and we laughed, but we also remembered all of our loved ones.
No one can tell us when any of us will feel better. There is no time frame. It is different for everyone. We are all going to have to face a new normal. We will never be the same again. Each one of us is changed. We will celebrate what we had with our loved one and relish the memories.
Already we are finding things about mom and Francine that make us smile. We need to embrace these things. We are never going to forget, we are just looking for a way to intertwine them into our “new normal”.