When Sonzee died covid19 was just beginning to infiltrate the United States. Besides my mother mentioning in passing there was a bad virus in China, I honestly didn't give it a second thought. By the time we celebrated her 30 days after she passed, restrictions were beginning to be put in place. I never officially went back to work in the true sense of the word, because by the time I decided I might give it a try, schools closed and life went virtual (inner sigh of relief). It was an adjustment on many levels being home with the kids and them being in school online, but ultimately, it allowed for a complete change of pace, so it removed a lot of the new I would have had to face post-Sonzee.
In April I couldn't even imagine that summer camps would not open and that we would not be returning to NY like we typically have. I was a little skeptical about us going away for 3 months, but Sam and I always said after Sonzee died we would need a complete change, so I was looking forward to it nonetheless. By early May it was clear that our trip to Israel was not going to be happening and by the 2nd week of June, we knew our summer was going to take place in Arizona. As disappointing as that initially sounded, I felt another sigh of relief. Life has essentially morphed its way into this entirely new adventure. One filled with being with my children 24/7, working off a computer in Sonzee's bedroom, trying to keep the kids from fighting all day, and swimming in this vast ocean of grief. While there is a part of me that wants my children's lives to return to normal, that would also mean my life would have to resemble some sort of normal as well.
Normal would now involve a school pick-up and drop-off at only one school. Normal would now mean that I return to work in a school where I will no longer also be a parent of a child who attends. Normal would now mean that I will be driving around multiple times a day without Nurse Paige in the passenger seat. Normal means no random hospitalizations or doctors' appointments occurring that cause scheduling conflicts or interfere with playdates. Normal means life would actually be moving forward. For my work, the tentative anticipatory date of normal is August 17, which is a month from today. There is something so terrifying, painful, and sad about a countdown that would officially represent the beginning of life without Sonzee, and from where I am sitting, I am just not ready.