Tomorrow marks the return to a "new reality" for our family.
After a couple of good days, I know everyone is apprehensive about what tomorrow will bring. I guess we'll just have to see.
This past week has taught me a lot...not the least of which was how many lives my brother-in-law had touched. Over 2,500 people waited in line, each for about 2 hours, to pay their respects to him at his wake. I was blown away...we were ALL blown away. At his funeral, the church held more people than it had ever held before...Christmas mass and Easter Sunday included.
Our priest was even amazed.
I also learned, probably most importantly, just what an amazing family I married into. Just how wonderful they all are, how strong they all are, how faithful they all are. As I spent this week "disconnected", I realized I was more connected than I had ever been...to my family.
I learned that the things that matter most in life are those that can't have a value placed on them. It's not about the fancy cars or the elaborate houses or the newest fashions.
No, it's about the relationships we have with our children and spouses, the ways we connect with people, our friendships, trying to make a positive impact on our youth. THOSE are the things that matter most in life.
Verd, while an amazing man, was just like you and me. I learned that even I, and YOU, can be that amazing, too, if we try.
I learned that my faith is deeper and stronger than I thought. I had once believed, that if tragedy struck, I would be angry at God...and I am not. At all. I am comforted knowing that Verd is resting with Him in Heaven...and watching us all down here, shaking his head at us for "making a big deal" about him.
It's very hard to lose someone in a tragic accident. All the "what-if's" that go through your head...but I've learned that it doesn't change things. That I can't change things.
I've also learned that a grieving family can only eat so much lunch meat. Note to self: Bring lasagna. ;)
Whenever I've been on the "other side" of death, I've always been so nervous about what do say. I won't be nervous anymore...and I've learned what to say. Tell a story, tell people how you knew the one that passed away. I know people mean well, but whenever I heard, "I'm sorry for your loss", I wanted to say, "Verd is not my 'loss'. He is my brother-in-law."
What I really wanted to hear was, "I'm so sorry to hear about Verd's death." Or, "Your brother-in-law was a great guy." I took a lot of comfort in hearing his name or his relationship to me.
I've learned that my husband is even more amazing that I knew. Like in so many other ways, we tended to be each other's yin and yang...just when he would crumble, I would be the strong one...when I felt my strength dissolve, he was my rock.
Not surprisingly, this last week has left me fearful. I'm normally a bit paranoid, but I am even more so now.
I want you all to know that I am amazed and incredibly grateful for your prayers, words of comfort and encouragement, and all the virtual hugs...I read each and every comment, tweet, and email, and you all lifted me up. Thank you!
And now, I must rest my weary head...for tomorrow will bring a week's worth of laundry and housekeeping with it!