When my dad died (a year and a half ago this week) I felt a level of sadness I had never felt before.
In the weeks after his death I felt bad for not being more empathetic to my friends & family who had lost their fathers before I lost mine. I was truly sad for them & hugged my dad a little tighter every time I heard a friend had lost theirs but never could I have imagined how great the loss really was. I apologized to a close lifelong friend for it & she told me it's not an experience you are suppose to imagine, it's not something you can really relate to unless you have experienced it personally.
This week, Donna's uncle, her mother's brother in law, passed away. He had been sick for a while and after 26 days in the hospital this last time, he requested to go home. He went home on hospice care and passed away few days later.
This is someone we saw annually on our trips to NY but we didn't have much contact with him outside of that. The news of his death though brought back a lot of emotions from my dad's death. Memories from the week he passed came flooding back & I've found myself in tears frequently over the past couple days.
It has also stirred up emotions from my own uncle's death almost 4 years ago. My aunt called when my uncle got sick & went to the hospital. I had an awful feeling about that situation & told Donna we needed to pack up & go. While she tied up loose ends at work I packed up the essentials for 3, 6 month olds, 2 dogs & ourselves. We left first thing the next morning & made the 8 hour drive to my family in TN but we didn't make it in time, my uncle died early that morning.
I was crushed & even more devastated for my aunt!
Donna's mom called her last weekend to ask if she had time to take her to NY, she of course wanted to be with her sister during this time & Donna agreed of course! Her mom is terrified to fly though so they drove from her parents place just north of Tampa to Upstate NY.
Donna left for her parent's house on a friday evening after work. She & her mom left early Saturday morning for upstate NY, they arrived Sunday afternoon just in time to attend the Wake for Donna's uncle.
The boys were quite upset about Donna's absence. We explained that she had to take Grandma up north & would be gone for a week but it didn't help. They didn't want her to go, they begged to go with her & begged her not to go. We facetimed a couple times a day everyday & they urged her to "drop grandma off & hurry home." I did my best to occupy their time with special outings & activities.
The first weekend we went to the pumpkin patch. We had their friend 'C' over that afternoon & baked cookies. On Sunday we had a donut picnic at the beach & played all day. Monday they went to school & then to the doctor for an allergy check-up & a double ear infection. I filled the rest of the week with playdates & even a trip to the zoo after school.
Donna worked remotely while in NY & got to see & spend time with some of her extended family while her mom helped her aunt deal with all the stuff people deal with after their spouse dies.
It was a long & exhausting week. The boys were miserable from their allergies & extremely emotional, I assumed because they missed Donna. We all survived though, with the promise of my niece's birthday party at the end of the week & Donna being home after the party, we survived.