I would post a picture of my kitchen-particularly the dishes in and around the sink-if I knew I wouldn't be mortified later. Reese is asleep next to me on the couch with a fever; Jack is at a barbeque enjoying the amazing 80 degree sun with his friends and their parents (my friends). Of course, I couldn't feel farther away from everyone if I was at home or near the fire pit. C.S. Lewis wrote in "A Grief Observed" that grief was like a veil, or a blanket- not sure which, but it's a film of yuck between the person grieving and the rest of the world. It's awful. And, no one wants to ask how things are; no one wants to taint the beautiful weather and good times. I don't blame them; I look at me through their eyes and am amazed that anyone would want to be even near such awful sadness.
But, like I said, my house is a mess. I am so aware of how my standards are sliding; Ed and I would come home from vacation and the bags would be unpacked within the hour; the cat box cleaned, the garbage put out, the floors swept and the rugs vacuumed. We got home yesterday and the weight of Ed's absence kept me from doing all but what he would do first (cat box, sweep, vacuum). I let my kids have cookies for brunch and Popsicles for dinner. If they brush their teeth twice a day, I feel like I should get an award.
I read something yesterday that it takes about seven years to deal with grief. Seven. Years. I'll be 45. Maybe then I'll enjoy fireworks again. We watched them at Coeur d'alene this week- it was such a great vacation. I wasn't sad at all and genuinely escaped- all of it. The long moving to-do list. The birthday planning. The July without Ed. Anyway, the fireworks have always been my thing- what I loved so much. But, when you are with someone for 16 years, even sharing the joys of my love - and his (have I mentioned that I actually enjoyed watching the European Soccer Championship tournament?)- becomes tainted.
So much is changing. And, I'm working really hard to find out what is worth keeping (getting the kids outside, quality over quantity) and what is judged by a standard that perhaps doesn't fit in my world view anymore (keeping the yard weeded or the kitchen clean all the time). The thing is, there is a big part of me that feels like I'm failing Ed by not keeping *every* part of our life the same. And that part of me wrestles with the one who says that I have so much life to live and here's an opportunity to recreate in a way few can.
I just miss Ed. Which is good, I guess; some days I've been afraid that I'm just missing my domestic partner. But, in the midst of this messy house, all I can think about is having him here.