A random new life

I thought it would stop, but I found myself waking up with tears in my eyes (again!) after what I thought was a sound night of sleep. Getting there is still hard.


My kids are sad.

Thing 2 is focused on longevity and some of the words that I had spoken at the service.

"Why did you say we were selfish?" he asked after a long weekend of family and photos and stories and tears. 

"Well, I said humans were selfish. No matter what we have, we want more. Grandpa lived a rich life and did so much of what he wanted to do.....including giving you squish-a-roonies and teasing you about "getting the girls". But for those of us who loved him, any amount of time with him would not be enough time."

"So what's the average age?" he asked me.

"For what?"

"For living," he said.

I thought and then said, "I don't know. Most people live long and productive lives if they care for themselves and are reasonably safe. The number is different for everyone."

He seemed satisfied but pensive. It was all he wanted from me, all he could take for the moment, and then he said, "Will you read to me?"


Thing 1 is out of sorts. She doesn't like being thrown off her schedule, even at almost age 12. She doesn't like all the traveling, she doesn't like why we have been traveling, she wants the stories and hates the stories, and her heart just can't bear it at times.

"It's just so hard, mom. I won't ever see him again." Tears are streaming down her face as I try to comfort her.

"I know. It is hard. But we have each other, babe. And you, lucky girl, got Grandpa for 11 years..the record for his grandchildren. You are the Keeper of the Grandpa Wilfahrt Stories."

We lay together for what feels like hours, but is only a few minutes. Her breathing relaxes, but she is not asleep. 

"I just don't know how to think about it, " she whispers.

I say nothing because I don't know either.


Thing 1 is sleeping on our floor again, a habit I thought we'd kicked. 

I noticed she picked up Harry Potter when this whole ordeal began almost six weeks ago. She'd moved on from that two grade levels ago, but she is racing through it once more now on Book 6. I know she has memorized every line in each book and there is comfort in a story that will not change. 

She will read it over and over until she feels settled.... and I will not stop her.


Big Man is immersed in work. At night he is furiously pounding through the paperwork death leaves for the living. A soul-less task, impersonal and perfunctory. You were here and now you are not. Please let us know. 

While he attends to the business of death, I go after the business of living. Dirty dishes and clothes, homework, dog walking, soccer practice, summer camps. 


New day, new normal, new way of life. 

Unwelcome, hard, no choice.


  1. Big Virtual Hugs. It doesn't get easier losing loved ones. Thanks for sharing how you are doing.

  2. Grief. Bitter, exhausting, disorienting grief.

  3. This is awesome, Lisa. So personal and touching and beautiful. And I think this would be the great beginning of something for Tomales if you're still trying to figure out what to bring. I love all these interconnected glimmers that speak to the power of grief. You really capture the way grief is as a parent trying to help their children through the process while struggling with it yourself. Really, really powerful.

  4. Bird by bird. One foot in front of the other. One day at a time. No way around grief, just through. Thanks for this honest look at heartbreak, Lisa. It is sad and so very real.


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