Entering the Next Phase

So I'm packing my bags and getting ready to head home.

I've been here in Sparks, Nevada, since the 11th, and would gladly stay longer if that is what my girl required. But she is ready to try and go it alone. Rip the bandaid off, so to speak.

Jim's death has hit us all hard, but especially, of course, his wife—my daughter—because he was the love of her life, her match, her half, her perfect guy. Only two and a half years married and now she is a widow.  He's given her a Sparks family—his kids—who love Megan; and involvement in a business, Victory Woodworks, that needs her contributions. But no matter the needs of yoga teaching, estate management, texting kids, online shopping for kids, the pending trip with the kids to Disneyland, and the endless list of "to-dos," there are still the lonely nights. Enter Ambien and the welcome drugged sleep of forgetting.

I was so proud of her when she told me she was not ready to be alone. So I came. We joked that I was her minion, Kevin, and that a minion has no opinion. I just go and do as I am told. And I was happy to do so. But she knew the day would come for me to go home. It's here.

My kid is amazing. And she hates being told she is amazing, or inspiring, or strong, or any of the synonyms associated with graceful grieving. How crappy it is to be incredible. Wouldn't it be awesome to sit in a corner and melt away? But she is not built that way. None of the women in my family are built that way.

During the past few weeks I have become the student as my kid's actions and attitudes have taught me much. About how to behave in a marriage, and how to feel about yourself no matter your situation.

As I have mentioned in text conversations with many who have reached out to me, watching your child grieve is awful. She was so dang happy. And we were thrilled to have such a fantastic son-in-law. After a painful divorce, she found extreme joy with Jim. Now here we are in the sad bag again.

I don't press my beliefs on anyone, but I am glad I have them. For according to my faith, I know where Jim is, and that he is very much alive. Jim did not become extinct when he died, and neither will I. And when it is my time to move on, I know who will be there with that big smile, and he'll say, as he did on so many occasions, "Your daughter is so awesome!"

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