We're two years on this side of things now.
The good news is that grieving gets easier. We feel better today than we did last year, and last year we felt much better than we did two years ago. Though I imagine we will still have hard days—or at least hard moments—ahead, I hope this trend will continue.
The bad news is that I am not entirely sure grieving gets easier. I've said many goodbyes in my life. Saying goodbye to Karen was probably the hardest one...and I'm afraid I have other hard goodbyes down the road. I don't want them, but they're coming for me just the same. I wish experience could make that grief easier, but I don't think it will.
Except that I'll know that it won't last forever—that feeling of being suspended in time while the world somehow carries on without you? It doesn't last forever. Maybe knowing that will make it easier. Knowing that losing someone is a shock to the system, but that—with enough time, with enough gentleness—it will get easier. It will become normal, live-with-able.
For this little one, Karen's death was an earth-rocking event:
She's got a domino with a train, a box of crayons, and...a very colourful area rug (I'm a fan). Who knows what we'll wind up doing next year? Andrew and I briefly discussed staying true to the doughnut tradition, but in the end decided we didn't want to run out for doughnuts and that we could do many things to honour her memory. The kids asked about doughnuts when they realized what day it was (while we were out on our walk), but I easily persuaded them that because our kitchen was full of pumpkin cookies we didn't really need doughnuts. It's probably better if they have a well-rounded view of her rather than associating her with just doughnuts, anyway.