I am frozen mid-step. My eyes are burning in hopes to not be recognized. The bright sun does nothing to warm my heart. I sheepishly look down at my phone as the woman passes, hoping she does not stop. Instinctively I raise a hand to my heart to try to get it started again.
Damn. I feel the tears rise in my eyes as I race to my car. Fumbling my key in the lock, I finally get it as the waterworks open. My heart is on the floor again.
I thought it would get easier as time wore on. What a load of crap.
I see the woman stride over to the entrance to her shop, a store I may never go in again. I hope she did not see me. I could not bear the questions or the idle chitchat that makes grief so hard to swallow. I could not help it. Opening my mouth was not an option.
It has been two weeks since I have seen her and her staff to fill my order. I have no idea if I will be in there again. The pain is too raw.
For the first time in 19 years, our home floors do not have the echo of our four-legged boys. A short while ago, our beloved Indy passed away. IT was the most excruciating task I have ever done as a parent, to deliver the news to our oldest girl that he died. I can still hear him through our walls, whining for breakfast. Or hear the click of his claws on the hardwood, racing to jump on my lap.
A realization answers my question. Every time a loved one passes, it opens up the old wounds. With that, I know I am never going to be grief-free. It is about going one day at a time.