Tomorrow will be two months... It truly seems like yesterday. I can replay Eddie's final 24 hours in my mind like it is a film reel on a never ending repeat rotation. The kids are back in the swing of school with homework, sports and even the good ole playground drama. Matthew even used the "but my daddy died" card already. So many things to learn....
Very kindly, people ask how the kids and I are doing quite often. On the day to day basis, we are "fine" which I tell them. It is true - I am not the type to lie in bed and not be able to function. Plus, I have two children lwaking me every morning exclaiming that it is absolutely time to get up, time to get their breakfast made and bouncing with energy. They are not the type to lie in bed wallowing in their sorrow either. They know they have friends waiting for them and schoolwork to get done or a game to be played. They know inherently life must go on.
There are those times that the feelings of sorrow come rushing in. The Jewish holidays, always a favorite of Eddie's was hard, pure and simple. There were lots of tears shed. This past weekend was the rededication of our new sanctuary, a place I so feel Eddie wanting to be even in death. It is hard to be there without him. I am "fine" but I am sad too. I feel the sadness profoundly at certain times.
So, I am never quite sure how to answer people. I feel guilty saying "fine." I almost feel an expectation, maybe just from myself, to be wallowing in sadness, to reply "not ok". There is a part of me that honestly is not sure how I feel and hesitate to respond at all to the question as I know today I might be "fine" but tomorrow the wave might hit and I wont be fine at all. I certainly don't have experience in this arena to know what to expect from time. Do I therefore lose credibility in my wave of sadness at that time if I say I am fine one - two months out? I mourned for 7 1/2 years off and on and certainly in the last 8 months I slowly felt Eddie's leaving me in many profound ways. As Rabbi Leder so eloquently replied to me when I wrote him of that feeling of Eddie's slipping away from me:
"Dying weans us, it prepares us, it enables us to grow strong enough and independent enough to go on after the person we have relied on is physically gone. It prepares our heart for release because we come to realize that dying is not the worst thing that can happen to a person who is so ill, but the best thing, the most peaceful thing, the most blessed thing, the most natural thing...that if we truly love someone then we want him to be at peace even more than we want him to by physically part of our lives. That is real love. This is all preparation and all a part of a very long journey that can only be taken one step at a time."
I think about this often. I feel Eddie did take the time to prepare me and let me adjust in the most kind way he could. He knew we would be ok - he told me that in front of Rabbi Leder in February. I feel extreme sadness when I think of Eddie and realize he is not here and wont be here for the most precious of moments for the kids, moments he would have treasured as their father. So I guess that what I have been saying is the truth that I should feel good about - that we ARE "fine" which is certainly not "great" but that we have moments where we think of him and miss him terribly. But, we can also have moments of fun and laughter and carrying on. I suppose that is just who we are..... and Eddie would be really fine with that.
Hugs to all