Life After a Death


This is a first for me, as I am combining yesterday’s blog post and today’s blog post into one, and I will apologize in advance for what I fear will be a jumbled amalgamation of words and thoughts.  Yesterday, my former father-in-law passed away, following a massive stroke eight days earlier, and my ex-husband, our two little girls, and I are all awash in our respective sorrow.  I am exhausted on every level, but life doesn’t stop with the death of a loved one, even if it feels like it comes to a screeching halt.

So, yesterday and today, the best things that I did for myself, for my ex-husband, and for our two daughters was to support and comfort them in their grief and to take care of myself in my own grief.  For my ex-husband, there have been numerous phone calls to listen to his outpouring of grief through his words and tears and to offer him words of sympathy and solace and countless texts to check in to see how he is coping and to share the happenings here at home to keep him connected to the ‘normal’ life that has been put on hold and that never really will be ‘normal’ again.  My daughters picked out a fruit “bouquet” from Edible Arrangements to send to their grandmother, and tonight, the three of us were touched to receive a phone call from her, which allowed us to share our condolences and happy memories of my father-in-law. 

For my daughters, I am doing my very best to help them navigate their first experience with losing a loved one as smoothly as possible and allow them to express their emotions and ask questions.  I have gently explained the process of cremation, reassured them that their dad and grandmother will grieve and heal, held them as they cried, comforted them when they missed their dad, and let them see me grieve their grandfather.  I am maintaining their regular schedule, while allowing that things are definitely not business as usual. 

As for myself, I just am taking it moment by moment.  This is not about me, but it has affected me.  I am leaning on my family and friends who understand that I, too, am grieving, and I am giving myself permission to both ask for help when needed and to simply shed tears of my own with my girls and in private.  I know that there is room for improvement in the self-care department, so, I will continue to work on that along the way.  For now, I am doing the best I can.

Just one thing each day . . .

Categories: Just One Thing Each Day

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5 replies

  1. I am so glad you have been able to join in with the grief of your ex-husband’s family (who are still your family). it is one of the grief aspects of separation that the extended family gets split. It is great to know there are those such as you where this does not happen and your girls still feel part of the wider circle.


    • Thank you so much, Elizabeth! My former mother-in-law called the girls and I on Wednesday night, and we had a very lovely chat. This is an aspect of divorce I never thought of until it happened, so, it has been another learning process.


      • I am so glad that you are able to talk. My ex husbands family (sister & husband, and nephew) were visiting the state last week and caught up with me. It was the first time I had seen them since the separation. They were all full of hugs and wanting me to remain part of the family. I felt that I had found part of me that had been lost.


  2. Elizabeth, as always your insight and kind words are well received and appreciated. This has been such a tough period for each of us, and I am so grateful that we have one another, our friends, and our family to help us to mourn and to heal. We are family indeed!


  3. Elizabeth, I am so glad that seeing your in-laws brought you some peace and joy, as you deserve both, and they’re fortunate to have you in their family!


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