Somehow I’ve survived 31 days since my husband died.
Sometimes it feels like it’s already a lifetime ago. Other times, it still feels so fresh and raw that it takes my breath away. (Literally, as in I forget how to breathe and it’s like I can’t get enough air into my lungs.)
For now, rather than focus on my fears (which are many and I do still think about them way too often) I am focusing as usual on my mother-in-law.
She posted a baby picture of J’s sister and said she’s once again an only child. And man, that just felt like someone had punched me in the gut! We haven’t even had J’s memorial service yet. It has only been a month since he died.
I know everyone grieves in their own ways but I can’t help but feel like she’s already moved on. Forgotten his existence. Not like that would really be all that different from how she acted towards him while he was alive.
I wonder if she’ll send me a birthday card, which is next Saturday. After all, she still hasn’t replied to my text from a week ago, in which I extended an olive branch. At this point, I don’t expect her to respond.
It’s not that I would really miss the birthday card or cash but it would certainly tell me something about where I stand with her.
Part of me hopes that she’ll skip it and forget all the pretense. It would certainly make my life easier if I never had to have any contact with her again.
I’m also curious about whether or not she’ll come down again for J’s memorial service. I’m pretty sure that she will because she has to check off the boxes of what’s expected of her as a parent.
I’m also pretty sure that regardless of the status of our relationship at that time, if she does come for his memorial, it will be the last time I ever see her anyway. She’s only made the effort to come here twice in the past almost 8 years. And she only came once in the 8 years when we lived here before (and when we lived here the first time, J’s sister still lived here, too!)
I’m composing letters in my head to her that I may or may not send after J’s memorial service. I want to put my opinions and feelings into writing for several reasons—the biggest being that I could carefully choose my words, without her getting the chance to butt in and interrupt me.
Total strangers show more care for me and the kids than she does. I still reached out to her anyway and she didn’t care to respond. I did that because I felt strongly that it’s what J would’ve wanted me to do.
But the truth as I see it is that she just wants to be surrounded by people who tell her what she wants to hear and she knows that the kids and I won’t do that.
It just breaks my heart more than I can put into words that J’s lifelong attempts to keep the peace between him and his mom were essentially all for nothing.
I feel like I owe him more than that. But I also can’t change her, which is essentially a situation that I cannot win.