Another day in my new chapter

I haven’t really hit the wall yet in terms of grieving but I’m sure it’s coming. Although I also wonder on some level if J said a lot of prayers for me and my survival before he died. In fact, I’m actually sure that he did, because he was so worried about me.

I still don’t know what I believe about God or prayer but going through this experience with him let me know that there’s a whole lot that I still don’t understand and I’m not arrogant enough to assume I understand it all.

I completely fell apart and just totally lost my shit when I lost my beloved cat Cammy and I loved J so much more than I loved Cammy. (Understatement of the year.) But strangely, I haven’t lost my shit yet. I’m prepared for the possibility that it might still sneak up on me and I’ve just been given some temporary grace.

What I love is how well the kids are looking out for me, though. A particular surprise is Chloe—this experience has seemed to make her grow up in a hurry. The weird thing is that she doesn’t feel resentful at all about doing it; she just feels like it’s what J would’ve wanted her to do.

She checks on me several times a day to make sure that I’m doing okay and gives me lots of hugs. She’s going to get a job and split the housing expenses with me 50-50 (though I also let her know that she may not get that many hours at first and she can just contribute whatever she can.) We also agreed that Dylan should not drop out of school or pay for any of our housing costs.

Really, Chloe is just really blossoming into her own person and it’s so lovely to see. She’s empathetic, in touch with her emotions, and fiercely protective of the ones she loves.

We were talking about Sue today and Chloe said she’ll be cordial to her if she sees her at the funeral but beyond that, she doesn’t intend to have any more contact with her. The fact that Sue hurt me on the same day J died and apparently regrets nothing about what she did to J is enough for her. She said that if she saw some signs of remorse or intent to do better, it would be different.

I also talked about it at length with Amy yesterday. I told her that although I never made a secret of not really liking Sue (and neither did J), we didn’t want to “poison the well,” so to speak. We wanted the kids to determine for themselves how they felt about her.

Amy said that she used to find Sue funny in an Alex Jones kind of way but Sue has now hit her own “Sandy Hook moment,” where she has said things that were so repulsive that there’s no excuse for it.

Dylan’s willing to give her a chance to redeem herself (which is true to form because of how much he’s like J.) But he also said that he won’t waste as much of his life on trying to appease her as J did.

Meanwhile, Chloe is pretty much writing her off completely now, based solely on her finding it unforgivable how much Sue’s hurt me and hurt J. Chloe is really emerging to be fiercely loyal to the ones she loves, but you would never expect it based on how shy and quiet she normally is.

I really think I’m going to be okay financially in the long run, especially when Chloe gets up to speed in terms of being able to help me. And that’s such a huge relief to me that I can’t even put it into words.

But meanwhile, I’m just haunted by Denny’s expression when he saw J’s body. It truly looked like he couldn’t care less. He looked bored. And within 15 minutes, he asked Dylan to show him where he could walk his dogs. Dyl took them to a nearby trail by a stream that he loves (and where he’s thinking of proposing to his girlfriend in a few months) and both Sue and Denny were just shitting all over it, saying that the trails they have in Michigan are so much nicer.

I’m even thinking about the fact that she apologized years ago on Denny’s behalf but he couldn’t make that apology himself. And Sue never apologized for anything she did (or failed to do) at all, presumably because she didn’t think she did anything wrong.

I sent some texts to Kris last night after we left, explaining why we left and that I understand how hard it is to feel stuck in the middle. I also said that we still loved her and see the goodness in her heart. She has on “read” receipts so I know she’s seen it but she hasn’t replied yet. I imagine she’s probably pretty hurt, too.

They’re staying here until Friday morning and I don’t know if we’ll see them again before the funeral in March. At this point, I don’t even know if my MIL will come back for the funeral. She’s still having a major hissy fit that we didn’t buy her alternative cures for cancer. And as Amy said, Sue can’t lay down her arms enough to just talk about what a great man J was instead; she has to keep fighting until we admit that she’s right.

J’s cancer only had a 14% survival rate at 5 years, with or without chemo. I do sometimes wonder if the colostomy reversal surgery was the true beginning of the end. We talked about that sometimes and he kinda regretted it.

But the point is that when someone has died, you’re supposed to put aside your beliefs about what might have saved him and just honor the strength it took to endure his treatments and celebrate him for the great man he was.

Everyone seems to recognize that except Sue and that makes me so damn sad.

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