Sunday, January 24, 2016

A month


It's been four weeks and two days since my husband died.

I know this year will be full of milestones that I won't be able to help but notice. One day. One week. One month. Tomorrow would have been Greg's 41st birthday.

I'm doing okay. I'm okay. A month feels both so long and so short. It passed in a daze. The pain isn't as raw now, but I still feel a little a bit in a fog, on autopilot, like I'm living someone else's life. Beauty helps a lot--the beauty of nature, the city, flowers, children, music, snow. In the past few years, while dealing with Greg's illness, because I didn't know what kind of future to plan for, I tried to focus on being present, on noticing the beauty of the world, and that habit has helped enormously these past few weeks.

For the most part, I'm doing okay. (Did I say that already?) I'm living a normal(ish) life. I see friends, I'm cleaning and organizing the apartment, I'm cuddling with Venus. I'm able to enjoy food and drink and company, TV and movies and music, I can laugh and sing and dance, and I can sleep. For the most part I can think of Greg without feeling sad. Remember moments and stories, talk about him without crying. And then other times I just feel irritated constantly that this is our my life, that he is gone, and everything makes me feel like crying.

We had a lovely memorial with our friends in our apartment in Brooklyn on New Year's Day. I spent a healing two weeks in southern CA, seeing friends and family and spending lots of time with children. In the middle was Greg's burial with his mother, sister, and extended family in beautiful Iowa. I feel good about his final resting place.

I'm planning to start working again tomorrow--I've completely checked out of work, and I'm thankful that my wonderful colleagues understand. I'll work at home for a few days, and then plan to go into the office for the first time on Wednesday. I can't say I'm ready to go back, but I'm not not ready either. I needed to just set the date, do it, and see how it goes. I think the routine will be good for me.

I wanted to say thank you--thank you to family, my friends, Greg's friends, our friends. Thank you to loved ones, acquaintances, to the publishing and kidlit community, to strangers. Thank you for your comments, your messages, emails, cards, letters, phone calls, donations for cancer research, stories, flowers, gifts, thoughts, prayers, help, and kindness.

Here are a few photos from the last month.

From Greg's copy of The Plague.
me and Grace Lin on New Year's Eve
mom and niece
niece Jessie. Lots of "kid therapy" in CA.
Greg's favorite tractor. In Harlan, Iowa.
me with Greg's mother and sister.


hiking with my dad
Lot of time and love with my niece Shoshana
A snowy night in Brooklyn
This is one of the songs Greg put on my mix that has been especially comforting. "You'll Never Walk Alone" by Gerry & The Pacemakers (and yes, he knew this from football/soccer, but it's still such a beautiful song):



7 comments:

Nora Raleigh Baskin said...

Alvina..thank you for writing this..and posting it. And sharing it. There is something so meaningful .. like a growth and a healing that you are passing along. At least to me..It feels important. I am reading your words..thank you for writing them. ox nora

Candy Gourlay said...

When I experienced this kind of devastating bereavement, I had to tell myself every morning to breathe, to choose life, to live. Not so easy. Well done. Cherish how surprisingly wonderful life can be even when there's a gap you cannot fill.

Candy Gourlay said...

When I experienced this kind of devastating bereavement, I had to tell myself every morning to breathe, to choose life, to live. Not so easy. Well done. Cherish how surprisingly wonderful life can be even when there's a gap you cannot fill.

Katherine Grace Bond said...

Alvina, I am so sorry for your loss. I've just read this blog post and the one about your love story, and I'm crying with you. Thanks you for posting these and sharing your journey with us. Be well.

Susan Adrian said...

I'm so very sorry, Alvina. Thank you for sharing this. I wish you healing and good memories.

Traci Sorell said...

Alvina, you continue to be in my thoughts and prayers. As you note, so many loved ones, friends and colleagues support you, but it is still a journey and you are doing the right thing to just take it one step at a time. Being present during your time together was probably the best gift you could give yourself then and even the best one now.

Kate Mark said...
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