I've dealt with grief before. I know what loss is like. But not this kind of loss.
I don't know how to deal with so many memories. It feels like I'm fighting my own mind, trying to decide whether to stay busy and just NOT think, or to embrace wonderful memories. It would seem, under the circumstances, that I should embrace all of the positive times. But that just leads me to cry. Crying all day, when you have four little children to care for, is not beneficial for anyone.
We took the day off school today, so I could think. The kids helped me build a fire in the firepit outside, and we sat by the warmth for an hour, just talking. I pushed them on the swings, they played tag, and then we came in with rosy cheeks and tired feet. Back inside, we read stories, painted, played Sequence, and made homemade pizza.
Quality relaxed time with my children. Art. Being Outside. Healing, in baby steps.
I know Mimi is in Heaven. I know it is her eternal Home, and she wanted to go. She is somewhere amazing, and with Someone amazing.
But I miss her. And I can't believe she is gone.
Papaw will be here in a week... and I'm trying to imagine him stepping off the plane by himself. Or walking into a room...and not having Mimi to kiss. It just makes me so sad.
I am trying to remember the things Mimi told me just a few days ago, when I talked to her last. I was crying, and telling her that I loved her and would miss her so much. She said, "but, Wendy, remember all of the wonderful times we had. And be thankful that we were able to say goodbye. So many people do not get that chance." She was dying, and spent that conversation trying to comfort me. It did/does comfort me.
Mimi has been a huge part of my life for the past 30 years. She was like a second mother to me, a dear friend, teacher, mentor. We had so much more time than many people get together. We knew what was coming, and had ample time to talk about it and say "goodbye for now." I'm very thankful for these things. Mimi left this earth in peace. She was asleep, not suffering. She was at home, surrounded by those who loved her and were praying constantly.
I am thankful for our time, joyful for her life and where she is now, pained over the separation, and confused as to how to deal well with it. It just doesn't seem real.
The kids know what has been going on, and that Mimi is in Heaven now. Yet when I mentioned that Papaw was coming next week, my Nature Man piped up, "are Mimi and Papaw staying at a hotel or at Noni and Poppy's house?"
Death is not real to them. They don't understand.
My little 5-year old Dash really has no concept. When we tried to explain, he asked "okay, but when is she coming back?" It's hard for me to answer that when this doesn't feel real to me either.
I try to convince my mind that she is gone on this earth now. Then I weep, and denial seems to take back over. Maybe I should chant, "it's okay, she is okay now, it's okay, she is okay now..." to get it through my head and help me cope.
At any rate, we're getting back on track with school tomorrow. The schedule and regularity will help me. I will run tomorrow, too (naughty me, I skipped today.) Exercise should help relieve some of this internal tension. And art. Is therapy. If I can't express how I feel or what I'm thinking adequately with words, then surely I can through art.
Keep telling the people you love how much they mean to you. Spend time with the people who matter the most. Relationships hold value above all things.
And thank you. Thank you all so much for the kind words, notes, letters, FB condolences, and prayers. I love you.