Last night Gina had to help me situate Michael in bed. He was just not helping me move him and I couldn’t move him.

After he was sleeping we went downstairs. She’s been holding up pretty well since the first few weeks. She spent the first 24 hours hysterical. But she’s held up better than I thought she would.

She was always Daddy’s little girl and, for Michael, the sun rose and set on her head. There was nothing he wouldn’t do for her. Plus she’s had a pretty easy ride whereas not much has happened to her in life. We, especially Michael, have made it pretty comfortable for her. But she’s always been a good kid so it hasn’t been hard to do. I have been the strict disciplinarian and she’s polite and does her homework and her chores, gets good grades and avoids a lot of the senseless nonsense that most teenagers engage in. But Michael spoiled her, nonetheless, and went out of his way for her all the time. So the loss is huge.

So after we went downstairs she just broke down and started to cry. She knows Michael would hate to be this way. We talked for a good couple of hours. We cried a lot. We hugged. She hates it and thinks its unfair. Because it is. And I had nothing left to say except yes it hurts and yes its unfair and yes we are going to get through. Somehow. Some way.

And I reminded her that while it’s important to do the grief work and grieve the loss, it’s important to know how fortunate we are to have known him and been loved by him. Unconditionally and consistently day in and day out.

It’s a balance that’s hard to remember. When I become grateful for how much he has loved me and that I have known this special person, it leads me back to unwillingness to let it go. I’ve had 4 months to work on letting go and I just find that I can’t. I am grateful but it’s too soon and I’m not ready to give up yet.

Today Michael has been sleeping all day. Not feeling well.

I sit by him as I type this and I reach out to him every half hour or so. And even in his sleep he squeezes my hand. Glad I am there. Giving me that small sign that he still loves me…

…and I squeeze back.

Tight.

So very tight.

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