When death occurs, a chain of events usually follows: memorial services, meal trains, charitable contributions. These events allow us to “do something” to honor the one we loved and support the ones who must go on without them. But most of the time, death is expected… as the result of illness, injury or old age. Brooke’s death was anything but. It was sudden. It was unanticipated. It was unconventional. And so is our grief.
Throughout the past nine weeks, I’ve often pondered how we’ve handled this tremendous and unforeseen loss so far. We were literally blindsided and in shock for the first week. Immediate family was in town so we had a small, yet beautifully intimate service at our beloved church. We sat in a circle, told stories, held hands and prayed.
After everyone went home, we went about the task of getting back into our routine. Brenn to work, Blake to school and sports. Then, before we could even catch our breath, came Thanksgiving. Christmas. New Years. We are exhausted both physically and emotionally.
My focus remains on nurturing my boys (and myself) as we navigate our way through profound grief and come to terms with this new reality. I call it the three C’s: Cooking, Cuddling and Cocooning.
I’m cooking favorite meals because it gives me great joy to nourish my family… hence no meal train for us. The cuddling and cocooning keep us focused on each others’ immediate needs…hence we are currently unable to plan a large memorial service or life celebration. We also lack the focus needed to decide on charitable contributions or a scholarship fund in Brooke’s honor.
The bottom line is that there’s not much for anyone to “do” at this moment – other than continue to love us, spend time with us, and let us know you care. We are so appreciative of the outpouring of support. It gives us the strength we so desperately need.
Our grief may be unconventional, but so is our loss. Sometimes I feel like we’re letting everyone down, but most of the time I think we’re doing it exactly right and people will be patient. People will understand.
Because Brooke always took her time. And, when the time is right, we will celebrate her life… her legacy… and it will be as beautiful as she is.