This, too, is hard.

I am … having a rough day. Week. Something.

I wrote a post awhile ago about how difficult I was finding it to see dementia in someone I love. I said it was hard. It was.

This, too, is hard. I remember some things about grief. I remember that the firsts are hard. The first birthday, the first Christmas. There are a lot of firsts coming.

But before I get to those, I think, I have to get used to the everyday vacancies. I will never again pop through Mom’s front door and catch her dozing in her chair.

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I found her red sweater (that she wore, to my amazement, on even 80-degree days lately) lying on our garage floor today. I don’t know how it ended up there. She forgot it at our house a lot, but usually I found it on a chair in the kitchen.

I have to wait for the echoes to fade. So many times – hundreds, for sure; maybe a thousand? – I was back in my office and I heard something out in house. When I went out, it was Mom coming through the door from the garage. Worried about some piece of mail, or coming to tell me that someone had called. I haven’t yet broken myself of the habit of checking on faint noises. Sometimes I get all the way to the office door before I remember that it’s not Mom, because it can’t be. I am still reaching for the phone to see if she wants to come over for lunch. I am still turning off the light in our bathroom if I’m up late, so she doesn’t worry.

It has been mostly a whirlwind since she died. But now things are quieter, and the daily things are catching up to me. It is so tempting to find myself something difficult to do to occupy my mind. I do not want to sit quietly and feel all the feelings.

Busyness, though, will not exorcise grief. It may push it away for a bit, but grief will push back. And if all of the weight you’ve been shoving aside crashes onto you at once? Well. That ain’t pretty.

So I am trying. I am trying to be still, and ponder, and feel. It’s hard work, but it needs to be done.

And I will be back to myself soon, I think. With ridiculous pictures of crazy boys and a (mostly) cheerful countenance. For a little while, though, I’ll be over here, feeling.

Ugh.

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