Sometimes the circumstances in our adult lives don't leave you in the mood for a fun day with your kids. Yet, having children forces you to stay on your feet even if you feel like falling. There is a lot going on right now for my family. My mother in law is not well, my father in law is not well, my aunt is struggling to stay alive and my uncle is alive physically but mentally seems to have let go already. There is nothing easy about any of this. My poor husband is trying to carry on balancing a new job, his family and a restaurant while the weight of his heart throws him inside out. His expression and posture right now speak louder than any words he could say.
When someone I love is suffering, I want to be able to help in some way, but none of my actions can take away his pain. I hold him when he breaks down and delicately try to toggle between optimistic and realistic. I listen as he goes between tears and pragmatic, matter of fact acceptance. We all ask questions that nobody can answer. We hang desperately on the words from doctors who deliver them way too harshly. We wait for the next appointment, hoping for some good news. All this while the world keeps turning, with children and jobs that need our attention, and forced smiles while we pretend to be "normal."
On Saturday night, we went out to dinner just the two of us. We had a party to go to afterward, but we took advantage of having a sitter and went out to dinner first. My husband's eyes filled when he thought of his family, and then we would go back to eating or talking about something else. It was actually a lovely evening, despite being a hard time. We were more present together than usual because we weren't distracted or interrupted by the kids and because we let real feelings come and go as they did. I wondered as we left to go to the party, if we should skip it. He wanted to go and was craving normalcy at that moment. It's a strange thing though, when people see you socially and say "how are you?" They don't really expect you to tell the truth. We all want to be authentic with one another, but if you respond with anything other than a smile or a "fine," people don't know what to say. It's no surprise that when things aren't OK in ones life, being around anyone who asks you how you are can send you running in the other direction.
A close friend of mine lost her father last year. She is the most pragmatic person I know. She works on herself constantly, and she was so aware of what was happening with her father's decline. She accepted he was dying with a unique peacefulness and understanding. I mentioned to her that no matter how prepared she was for him to die, that when it actually happened it might hit her harder than she expected. Indeed it did, and she had to go through it, as painful as it was. At some point or another we will all be in this group where we lose someone so close to us. For friends who have already experienced it, I know it isn't a fun club to be a part of. Some of us don't know all the right things to say or do. There should be no judgment or expectations on who responds and how to loss. It is uncomfortable territory for all involved. There is no right thing to say.
There is no rest for the weary, and weariness is exhausting. We don't know what each minute will bring let alone each day. I am doing my best to be a support to my husband. I am so sorry this is the here and now for him. It is painful to go through. It is my hope that the silver lining shines a glare so that it is easier to see in the dark. It might take a while to find.