I still have a stack of cards that aren't open, emails that I haven't read, let alone responded to. I have to meter everything out. I have to pace myself. I wonder if we missed out by not sitting shiva. Though in some ways, I have been sitting shiva for nine months. When Mom was first diagnosed, I was completely lost. I was spinning out of control, furious with people and situations that didn't deserve my wrath, prone to sobbing jags every night and oscillating between learning everything I could about the situation and complete denial.
As the months wore on, and I grew closer with my family (both of origin and new married family), my extremes mellowed. I loved talking with both my parents every night. I loved seeing my Seattle family so often. By the last trip I made, I was actually looking forward to being on the airplane, out of touch for six hours, nothing to do but sit, read and relax. Relinquishing control.
In some ways, I feel like this experience taught me all of the lessons that I needed to learn, everything I struggled against and wouldn't have understood any other way. We have been given gifts of unimaginable measure. We have strengthened bonds, we have opened our hearts, we have felt love so much deeper than we realized. Some days I am truly grateful for all the learning. Some days I rage against it, sure that Mom didn't need to be sacrificed to see all the beauty we witnessed.
I am trying to practice acceptance. It's going okay so far. But I don't think I've come anywhere near feeling the magnitude of what has happened.