It’s the four-month anniversary of Bob’s death. I am a puddle of tears. The tears came first. The realization of the date came second. This, I’m told, is common. It doesn’t make me any more prepared for these tidal waves of emotion when they strike. I still loathe them when they first arrive, until I remember that they have a place and a purpose. Then, I try, I try so fucking hard to just let it happen and sit in the middle of the mess of sadness that has to be my world for a while.

The problem is that not everybody wants me to sit in the mess. They don’t like what it looks like. They aren’t comfortable with how it manifests. It isn’t tidy. It doesn’t have neat edges. It doesn’t return phone calls when it should. It doesn’t look like the old me. It’s different. It’s scary.

That’s the shit part about grief and loss. It changes you. It changes relationships. I don’t know how to make it not do those things. I don’t think I can make it not do those things. I don’t think I’m supposed to. I think I’m supposed to, at the very least, survive. Hopefully, I do a bit better, rise from the ashes and kick some ass.

Step one was spending my first day home just enjoying my kids. We’re each struggling to figure out how to define ourselves as a three-person family, the way any reconfiguring family would, I think. It’s important we each get time and space to define our roles, honor our needs in our new family dynamic, and have a safe environment to do that. Not an easy task, but so important for us all. We’ll get there, but there will be growing pains. I hope our friends and family respect that.

While I don’t write about the kids as much as I used to, mostly due to respecting their privacy as they become teenagers, I will try to share how they’re doing in general terms since I know many of you do want to know. And I will share the stories the give me permission to pass along, as always. They do love the limelight every now and again.

I promise to indulge bore you with photos and stories of my travels in the coming days. For now, I need to go nurse my sad. Maybe beat it with a stick. I’m undecided.