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Papa lived through the winter, only to die in March. But it was as though he left us in our own winter for years to come.
Six months after my Papa died, my daughter started college and my son was having fun in junior high. I thoroughly enjoyed watching my children continue to grow. I was a 100% participant in my relationship with my husband, my kids and my Mama. But I didn’t have the time or energy for anyone else.
Nine months after my Papa died, I tried to go back to work but I could not focus on the needs of clients when I was needed so much at home. My Mama needed me every day for many reasons, some reasons were very serious. She and I were in a state of transition. It was important I acknowledged I needed time to heal. I realized that to push my pain down deep inside would only be a way of hiding and ignoring the pain instead of dealing with it. So I didn’t commit to anyone at work, which is very easy to do in real estate. I had transitioned all my clients away from me when my Papa got sick and I just never called or asked for them to come back.
I wake up in the morning and the day seems so different. Life has changed and the changes are apparent. Hours feel like days and days feel like weeks. Weeks feel like months and then I lose track of time completely and a week goes by and it is the same every day, so a week feels like a day. And then a year goes by and I swear it was just a few months ago you died. And then one day, I have been reliving the day after your death for two years and I try to change, but I can’t. I’m pulled into this vortex and everyone changes around me, but I am stuck in this one place.
For two years, every day felt like the day after my Papa died. My Mama was “doing as well as could be expected,” as she would say, but after 62 years of marriage…what can I say? That is her story to tell. I would wake up, take care of my family and then spend most days with my Mama. Holidays, and every day, were warm and loving, but we could always feel the absence of my Papa.
Three years down the road, life is understandable and feeling normal again, for me, but not for my Mama. She is well and is involved, but her soul mate, her life companion, her Captain, is gone. And every day, for her, feels like the first day without Carl.