Monday has come again. It was a busy Monday for me with errands and business to do. A good friend met me and helped me with the transport of some paintings from one gallery to another. The company of others is good therapy.
The coming home to an empty house is hard.
At the end of October our daughter is getting married. Her brother was supposed to be in the wedding and help her with the music choices. I know her struggle is different from ours, though equally as difficult. The fact that she misses him is undeniable. He was her only sibling. I don’t know what it feels like to loose a brother or sister.
Her ability to work through the sorrow and continue to function has been inspiring. There are different triggers for her, than for me. I worry that she feels neglected or that this horrible grief overshadows the joy that her upcoming marriage brings. The feeling I have is that everything seems muffled. Intense color and sound and light startle me a little and I want to withdraw. Perhaps that accounts for my reluctance to participate in situations where there are a lot of people involved.
How do I make sure to be totally present for my daughter? After all, she is still here, still a vital, loving, beautiful part of my life. At the age of 14 she was diagnosed with Leukemia. Her brother was 18 at the time, having just turned 18 and heading to his graduation from high school. We were plunged into darkness that April. We began two and a half years of chemotherapy with our daughter. Our son opted to stay at the local university to be close by while she was in treatment. During those years I don’t know what he did. I have tried to remember but there are only bits and pieces. I never got the chance to ask him what he thought during those years, though I did find out later that he suffered from panic attacks. Maybe I should heap some guilt on myself for not being able to divide myself more evenly between my two children or guiltier still among my children and husband. We were in survival mode.
Our daughter did survive. Our son graduated from the local university and headed out west to Colorado. Our daughter graduated with two degrees from our local university. In getting past those years, we breathed a sigh of relief thinking the worst was behind us.
I cannot compare and contrast the times very well. I am still too deep in grief to figure out how I feel much of the time. Part of my grief is for my daughter, and I don’t want to pull her along where she does not want or need to go. Given that , at times, I avoid expressing my grief.
I try to picture what my son would say if he could comment on this situation. I know he did not want or expect to leave so abruptly. He was getting on with his life. He would be traveling out west right now. He would be encouraging me to make plans, to reach out for my dreams, to travel and experience the life that was left to me. I also know he would come and wrap his arms around me and let me cry, but I’m wondering for how many years?
There are no clues or answers, no messages left, no famous last words. He loved his sister. I know that. He would want her special time to be very beautiful and happy. Maybe that is enough for now. That will have to be enough for now.