Stuck in the middle

Apologies if this post ends up being a bit of a downer, but I wanted to share something I’m experiencing right now. Recently a family member passed away, and while I’ve experienced this plenty of times in my life, there is something more unique about this situation. Normally, when someone dies there is a pretty set course of events that happens. First, you get “the call” letting you know that they have passed. Then a few days later you gather for the wake and funeral. Finally, when all of the events have passed you move on to the healing portion of the grieving process.

The difficulty this time around is that this family member lives many states away, yet because they lived most of their life here, the funeral and burial will be held in Minnesota. What this means is that, due to logistics, the funeral won’t be held for almost two full weeks, since the time of their passing. We received the call last Wednesday, and we now have a full week of work to get through before we can all gather.

It makes this week feel very out-of-place. You want to start the healing process and grieve, yet you know that you still have days and days until you can have some finality to everything. There is still life to be lived, so you can’t simply hibernate for two weeks until the funeral, you have to carry on with day-to-day living. It feels as if you’re stuck in the middle of the grieving process, and that you can’t move forwards or backwards in any reasonable fashion. Trying to move forward is fruitless, since any healing will be ripped open once again in a week or so. Yet you can’t prolong the initial grief because it will paralyze your life.

So, for the next week I will be stuck in the middle. Waiting, working, trying not to feel too much, and carry on with life.