August 6, 2003

// March 15th, 2010 // From the forthcoming book "Losing Steve: One Mother's Journey Through Grief"

Robs and I were invited to a get together with some of our home school friends at Helen’s home for today. I got up at my usual 6:15 to make Dave’s breakfast and lunch, but I really wasn’t ready to plunge into my day so I went back to bed, “to sleep, perchance to dream” as Hamlet said. And I did dream. I had another house dream, but this one was different than the recurring “house dreams” I’ve had over the past thirty years. Usually in these dreams, I find myself in an unfamiliar house that we are considering buying or we are moving into. As I walk around in the house I discover a hidden room or rooms, often including an old fashioned bathroom. This time it was our house I found myself in and as I walked into our bedroom, on the south wall I found a door to a large walk-in closet. As my dream self tip-toed to the open door of the closet I peeked in and saw that it was empty. Now as I look back on the dream I remember being so happy to find this newly discovered space.

I finally got up at nine o’clock and Robs and I slowly got ready to go to Helen’s.
As we were driving down the freeway Dave called to ask me if we have any plans for tonight. I’ve been worried about him lately. He seems so down but not ready to “let it out”. Yesterday, when I asked, he admitted that he is “on the edge”.
We’re going to Nevada this weekend for Amy and Jeremy to pick up Kirstie and Kyle from their Dad and have decided to leave a day early. We’ll just hang out in Stateline, relax, and do nothing. It’ll do us both good.

Robs and I got to Helen’s a little after eleven. Our long-time friends Tracy and her daughter Rob’yn were already there and everyone greeted us with warm smiles as we came in. As I walked through the door I wasn’t sure I’d be able to stay long. My heart really wasn’t into being out for a social call. It was my first nearly normal day in two months, maybe even longer. Since December helping Steve had become my normal. It felt good to sit with friends and talk about a wide variety of things. We talked a little about what my family has been going through but we also talked about regular stuff, too, like home schooling, gardening, and what to make for dinner when you’re just too tired to even think about cooking. Robs and I stayed till 3:30 and then ran a few errands before heading home. It was a good day.

The loss of her big brother finally hit Jae full force today, but the cry did her good. Until now she’s been going on about her usual life (school, outings with friends, church youth group, work) trying to hang on to a sense of normalcy. But grief will not be ignored. One way or another it will be there. Tears, anger, ulcers, broken relationships ~ grief will have its due. So what looked like a breakdown for her was actually a step forward. Dave and I discussed not going to Nevada, to stay to help Jae through this but she’s doing better now, and she has her siblings Nick, Marisa, Amy, and Jeremy, and her close friend Will and his mom Carolyn (who is like a second mom to her) to call on if she needs someone.
Though if it were up to me, I would stay home.

Today I’m grateful for a new beginning that does not deny the other beginning’s end.

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