The stillness

I found a parking stub from the hospice in my pocket yesterday. It felt like a gut punch; I can't believe those visits were only a week ago. Time makes no sense right now.

We're in the steep descent of the 33 month crisis-crescendo that peaked last week, and this stillness is so disorienting. My long running mental checklist of "THINGS TO STAY ON TOP OF ALL THE TIME SOMEHOW" has been crumpled and tossed into the wind, and the girls and I are spending a lot of time sitting quietly in bewilderment.

His pain is gone. Weekly swaps and catch up chats are gone. Asking how he's doing, him saying fine, then asking the girls how he's really doing – that's gone. Tender phone calls discussing a difficult future are gone. That awful final month of watching the cancer cruelly yoink him away from us, never fully believing it was really going to happen until it did... it's gone. The questions, the anxieties, the planning, they're all gone.

The farm animals are gone. Almost everything is packed. My property is conditionally sold with backup offers. The business expansion is set. Customer demands have paused. Our financial stressors have been eased. Family and friends are holding us in their respective safety nets, and I'm so grateful to have them.

After over two years of being in "code red", surrounded by impossible questions and problems, everything has been answered, resolved, or settled. The only remaining unknowns are the move (waiting to hear back re: our new lease), the girls' schooling in the fall (likely online with a pal family cohort), and the strangeness of resuming life without him. Who do I text when our kids are hilarious? Who do I send daily mundane bumps to? Who do I commiserate with when our teens push limits and take risks? Who do I plan holidays and birthdays with? Mikey, how am I going to do this without you?

Everything still feels dreamlike. I haven't really processed that we're actually leaving the farm soon. This adorable little parcel won't be mine anymore. I won't have the easy quiet, the empty roads, the sweet breezes, the freedom to walk outside and just *be*. I'm really not sure who I'll be when I return to Calgary. I don't know how everyone will see me. I don't know what people will expect of me.

But at least the farm served its purpose well these past two years. It gave us a beautiful distraction, helped shelter us from the pandemic, brought goofy, therapeutic animals into our lives, and provided us with open spaces to freely grieve within. It gave us so much while we lost. This pause between worlds is odd, but I suppose we need it before we step into our new little lives.

*This is part of a series of posts I'm plucking away at while moving through the loss of my co-parent.

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