I need to say thank you. I need to stay grateful. I need to remind myself of all the amazing support we have been getting over the past week.
Because this is hard.
It is so hard. To be here, in this weird place, still new, where we don't know anyone well enough to fall back on, where we don't have favorite spots or trusted comfort zones...it is hard. To exist in a little bubble of grief, when you know that no one nearby is mourning with you, it's isolating and lonely, and it is hard.
It is hard to find ways to feed my hungry family when my own interest in food has all but disappeared, my ability to think through a recipe hampered by the inattention my brain has employed to combat sadness, the very structure of our building making delivery confusing enough to become a deterrent, and anyway, allergies make ordering out a dangerous and stressful event best kept to a minimum.
It is hard to mourn alone. James is here and present for maybe an hour a day, thanks to his 3 hours spent commuting on top of his full time job. He needs to get his rest in order to stay safe, riding his bike before dawn and after dark to get there and back, so I can't even ask him to stay up late with me. Kelly has had friends with her throughout much of this ordeal, and will be leaving soon - which is good, she hates this place and I don't want her to suffer any more than she is already suffering, so she needs to go. And the kids of course are always around, but they are kids and do not need the burden of holding such a grown-up loss on top of the loss they are already feeling. If this was happening to a friend of theirs, I would be supporting them as they supported their friend...but who would be supporting them through helping me?
I need to keep my children safe, and fed, and comforted, and inspired. It is so hard to be kind to myself when skipping the dishes for a single night can derail an entire day and leave the house in such a state that I can't think except to worry that if anyone saw it, they'd take my kids away. How can I be kind to myself when just getting through the day requires the kind of steel they build armor from, that leaves me capable of basic function but incapable of human emotion?
This place does not lend itself to breathing. It's so odd being here, in this new, not traditionally comfortable place. We moved here for the ease of the day to day, for the quiet, the space...but they bulldozed the trees four days after we moved in, and now every window we have looks out on construction sites, and the building can't afford to provide the convenience they charge for, and we share every sound with the neighbors we don't know on the other side of the too-thin boarders between our space and theirs.
I can't mourn here.
But I can't get caught in the shadows. I need to remember to focus on the positive the way I have done for mom for so long now. To remember that our nearby cousin has offered to go shopping. To remember that Liz came to me the day mom passed even though she probably didn't have the time. To remember that we've gotten three boxes of pears, and two boxes of chocolates. To remember that even if no one is physically here, there are words of support flowing through this computer screen constantly.
So yes, this is hard...but in pears, and chocolate and love, we are rich.