Susan's beloved Cousin Lisa was buried with military honors three months to the day after the husband died. She imagines the husband was pleasantly surprised to see Cousin Lisa show up in whatever location they now find themselves. This gives Susan comfort although it doesn't keep her from covering her face and sobbing into her hands at the thought of it.
On that first sad day Cousin Greg told Susan We're in the same club now. Sure, the Heartbroken Persons Club of Misery and Sleeping Alone Forever.
It needed a dramatic title.
After that, Susan spent some time thinking about what she knew of navigating grief so that she may help her fellow club member. Any success she's had comes from believing that she will be OK. She started a list and wrote the word BELIEVE.
Next she thought about how she would seek comfort by climbing back into bed with her morning coffee then stay there till the afternoon. She wrote that down, COMFORT.
She didn't always cry although she wanted to. To remedy this she'd look at a picture of her warm, protective, funny, smart, wonderful husband's face and let his absence overwhelm her. Once it started she'd keep it going.
She wrote CRY.
Next came a long one; DON'T ALLOW THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THINGS TO GET OUT OF CONTROL. This is why she came home & immediately stripped the bed, began clearing out his bedroom drawers, then hit the closet.
As Susan began taking over household & financial tasks previously maintained by the husband a word kept sailing through her head; simple.
Keep everything simple. Make it easy.
She thought about this word often, it became like her mantra. She wrote INSPIRATION WORD.
CREATE NEW RITUALS. Thursday Movie Night was instituted by the college wrestler. Each week one member of Susan's little family gets to choose a movie and accompanying snacks. The movie is totally up to the discretion of the chooser and kept secret until time of viewing to cut down on complaining by the audience. There are no rules for Thursday Movie Night beyond mandatory attendance between the hours of 8-10 pm.
Susan moves in slow motion through her days. Work is exempt from this lethargy because it's work, and she has to get sh*t done. But, when she's home only one thing per day gets accomplished when formerly it might be seven or eight. And, she's completely absent minded.
Susan finished with TO DO LIST lest nothing at all get done.