So I'm learning a few things this go round.
Like that it really is much harder when the person who dies lives with you. Because then you still smell them. You still listen for the "shuffle shuffle" footsteps. You still think that your kids need to quiet down so that they don't wake up Poppa. You see a giant void at the dinner table. And you feel the gaping hole in the too-big house.
Can you tell that Eric went back to work today?
It was my first day home alone with Carly, my first day of real life. I feel incredibly selfish, because it's not my Dad that died and so maybe it shouldn't be quite so hard for me to just deal with it. But, holy cow, the emptiness hurts. And when you add in the pressing concerns about just how we're going to make our new budget work, it only compounds the pain and confusion.
We weren't ready for this. When we told Eric's Dad to stay forever, we meant that literally. Less than 2 years was never even a thought. I look back on all those times I felt frustrated or put out or crowded and wonder if I hurried life along. I look back and wonder if Poppa felt welcome here. I hope so. I liked having him here. I miss having him here.
My mother called and left a message, my Dad is just fine and they didn't find any significant problems. I didn't get to talk to her, I just listened to the familiar sounds of Mother drifting through the house and then erased the message. My heart beating relief, I started to cry. Because my Dad is safe. And I feel so lucky. I couldn't call her back, I never would have made it through the conversation.
If you could see the incredible amount of pain Eric is in, your heart would break. The aching pit of sorrow that envelops us at unexpected times is almost too much to bear. And I'm sure it will get better, as it did with Mom, but I don't want it to get better. I don't want to forget the sounds and smells, the sight and feel of Poppa. I don't want to stop thinking about him.
I just want him to come back.