Just over two weeks ago I read an article showing newly released photos from Lyndon B. Johnson’s hurried inauguration on board Air Force One hours after JFK’s assassination. Jackie Kennedy stood next to him and I couldn’t even begin to imagine what horror she was feeling and how on earth she managed to stand there through the formalities.
It was the school holidays and we were having a lazy morning. I was reading, the kids were still in pyjamas playing and my husband was downstairs working from home as he recovered from a stomach bug.
The next morning he died.
I still can’t fully process that. Despite being able to type it out and read it out in black and white. It’s a tragedy that you read about happening to other people and that it happened to him, to us, is still incomprehensible. I now have an inkling how Jackie Kennedy got through that Air Force One journey. It’s how I’ve got through the last two weeks – communicating the news, making funeral arrangements, having dozens of friends and family visit, going through bank accounts and bills, sharing memories about him, washing his dirty clothes, holding my children whilst they cry, trying to keep them in their routine, replying to hundreds of messages and calls. It’s how my body has survived on little sleep or food – utter, complete shock.
I know that grief is a journey. I’ve walked it before but it’s different this time. When my father died, I wailed and cried solidly for at least a week. I haven’t done that yet though I can slowly feel those feelings of utter despair waking up as the anaesthesia of shock wears off.
How ironic it is that I’ve designed my blog to talk about little rays of sunlight that help keep a sense of balance amongst the humdrum of every day life. What I wouldn’t give right now for a boring, normal life.
I think I might find comfort in writing all of this madness down though so let’s see how that goes.