For as grief-stricken as I am at the sudden loss of one of my best friends … and for as sad and angry and upset as I am … life does move on.
It happens in little ways … like how dusk turns to dawn and again dusk, with the sun setting and the moon rising for the past eight days.
Or like how thanks to heavy downpours all week, the grass is finally springy and verdant; green and plush. As I noted to Maya on the drive home from school today, soon the bare trees on our street will canopy the road with their lush leaves.
And it happens in big ways … like how Ben started saying “HELLO!” this weekend; previously it had been “Hi” and now he’s all about yelling “HELLO MAMA!” when he walks into a room. Or how all of a sudden he wants “DOWN” and is telling me “NO” while pushing me away (quite the opposite of what he put me through in Mexico just two weeks ago!).
That’s the tricky thing about this period … however long it lasts: Life does go on all around us … and while it can feel overwhelming at times, it’s part of the process — learning to cope and discover a “new normal” … one that doesn’t involve someone you care about as an active part of your life but rather someone who is now forever young, memorialized in photos and funny/sweet/silly anecdotes, and resides in our heart.
It’s not the way any of us want it to be … but it’s not like there’s anything we can do.
Tomorrow, I’m not working. I’m meeting one of my fave friends for a day of shopping, eating, and gabbing … sans kiddos. We are both stoked for the girl-time, and truthfully I think the quiet time I’ll have in the car will be therapeutic; self-care of sorts …something I’ve been neglecting between being sick post-vacation two weeks ago and then Rachel’s sudden passing last week.
And I do need to take care of myself.
Just like when flying, they always tell you to put your own oxygen mask before helping others … that certainly applies here, too.
It’s not always easy or natural, but it is something I need to do. Because life does go on … and I need to be able to savor it, embrace it, and accept it.