There are a few things in my life that I hold on to that remind me regularly that my grief journey is slow and my feet are still plodding along steadily on that path.
I have Jeanne and Mike's emails still listed in my evite contacts and when I pause to think about deleting them if feels like if I do that I'm "deleting" them. Regardless, they are still dead.
I have a blanket on our bed that I sleep with every night regardless of the weather because it was a blanket they used to keep on their couch in their family room, and it makes me think of Jeanne. I imagine the blanket is her giving me a hug.
For the last Christmas we had with them I had Mike as my Secret Santa. I got him a Purdue shirt (his alma mater) that I ordered online. I still get emails from Boilermakers.com and I can't bring myself to unsubscribe. Every few days when the emails come I think of Mike.
I still can't listen to Mary Chapin Carpenter's song "Down at the Twist and Shout" when it comes on my ipod during a song shuffle because it was one of her favorite songs and I remember dancing to it with her at their wedding. I've tried a few times, but it just makes me cry and I have to stop.
My dad called this morning and brought up possibly selling their house this summer (we are currently renting it) and my stomach dropped and the thought ramped up my anxiety big time. It's the last big thing we have of them. The kitchen Jeanne cooked in and entertained. The backyard and deck. The hardwood floors Mike installed.
Grief is a complicated thing. Timing for everyone seems to be a very unique experience. I am just not ready. I don't know if I ever will and I'm okay with that. I think I still try to ignore my own grief in order to focus on the kids. That feels safer and easier to handle.
Again, I'm okay with that. Probably because I know that my reminders at bedtime, on my ipod or sitting in my inbox keep me from venturing too far off this road I'm on.