The leaving and the driving home do not really prepare you for the being home. The emptiness is enormous; there are acres of time to fill. How can one person take up so much space?
It is that sensation when is emotional pain is physical, when your pureed heart feels septic. This really, really hurts, you wander around your home looking for reminders and they are of course everywhere.
You learn really fast that it is not a good idea to go into your kid’s bedroom, strange given they haven’t slept there for ever but it is full of their personality and they and their most important possessions are missing.
You and your son bumble around in the emptiness. Both forgetting she is not there and checking for noises, it like having a toddler, when silence is the time to worry. You can see the relief in your son, he believes that there will be a positive outcome, he is more relaxed than he has been in ages. This break is good for him.
Work is a blessing, people are nice, kind, non-judgmental. There is support there and it is a very busy environment that calls for all your attention when you are there. You are there do to a task and persuade the world that you are functioning. It is respite from the hollow sadness that you feel, this feels like grieving. It is not right, she is not dead, she is fighting to stay alive but you are bereft.
You are grieving your relationship, you have a fear that this will never be the same again. You have learned to live with the abnormal as normal of riding the choppy waters of your family dynamic, you have been here before.
Different person, different time, different illness but your family was annihilated, then your life exploded, you learned then that as everything is in freefall, there are very few things that are important but your children were front and centre, they were caught, the rest of your life crashed in ugly ruins but you caught them. To have to let go now is agony, it is howling at the moon, pulling at your clothes, gut wrenching kind of pain.
You are not sure that this is normal to feel this bad. Where is the optimism, the hope the belief that this will all work out OK? This should be positive, this should be hopeful, this should be a new beginning, a way forward, doesn’t feel it.
There is so much time to fill, looking at the clock and you can’t quite believe how early it is.
It will be another long night.