People keep asking me how I am. it might be just the habit of how you start conversations, but it seems to take on an earnest "No, really, how are you doing?" tone that I don't know how to answer. I'm sad a lot of the time and cry often but not constantly. I'm remembering to eat, though not necessarily at normal times, but I can recognize when the misery may actually be hunger with some accuracy and treat with food.
I realized yesterday that you readers are in for a boring year of "This is my first X without Henry" posts. Prepare yourselves, it will be repetitive and not that interesting, I'm sure.
It's day 20 of 30, if my counting is correct. After 30 days my official mourning period is over. I read a commentary that parents get a year and siblings, spouses and children get 30 days because losing your parents is sort of the natural order of things and so you have obligations as a mourning child. Losing someone else in your immediate family is additionally shocking and your mourning will outstrip any obligation.
Whatever the origin, this sort of gradual change in mourning practices is actually helpful. Those first few days where you do nothing but see to the needs of the deceased - arranging for burial and what have you - honestly, there really is no time for anything else. I can't imagine dragging that process out any further. I can see the temptation of wanting to take longer and get everything right, but everything can't be right about a funeral, really, when what you really want is everyone alive again.
Pretty soon after they told me they'd found H's body, I was making phone calls and kind of slid off the couch onto the floor and thought "Ah, yes, now I understand the low bench thing. THis is about right." Sitting shiva was so exactly what I needed, and I'm so glad there were people around to make sure that's what I got. Seven days of not even having to take care of myself, much less anyone or anything else. Having indulged in that helps me get through the things that I don't want to do but have to, now.
I'm taking the 30 days as permission to blow off (or, in reality, not undertake) social obligations if I want. Slack a little on the housecleaning and the errands. Just doing what is necessary and going ahead and putting off what can be put off, not because I shouldn't be doing things, but because everything is hard. Ten more days and I'll have to shoulder a little more responsibility. Re-engage with the world that much more.
It's funny to me that I will be officially out of mourning before I have a death certificate. I find there's no predicting how paperwork will affect me; sometimes it is no big deal, sometimes it is really upsetting and I have no idea why either way. There's going to be a lot of notifying and arranging, eventually - credit cards, bank accounts, stuff I haven't thought of yet. Probably a good thing I can't do any of it yet.
Still keeping my mirrors covered. Everytime I think I might uncover them, I then think "but then I would have to look at myself" and Do Not Want.