This was a busy weekend and an emotional weekend for all of us. My sister-in-law Shelly's school (she is a teacher) threw a Beef and Beer on Friday to benefit Shelly and Greg's daughters, who with Greg's loss are of course without a father, but on a practical level, are without his income (and had been for quite some time already throughout Greg's illness). Spearheaded by our awesome friend Bill, who also works with Shelly, he and their co-workers put on a fantastic night! The food was awesome, the beer was flowing, and the band, Friends, was SO cute and so much fun!!!
The next day, Greg's brothers Chris and Lou, along with their family, hosted another beef and beer (actually, it was more like buffalo wings and beer! Yum!) at a fun bar in Shamong called the Pic-a-Lilli Inn. It's a shame it's so far from us- it's a really fun place! There is the bar itself, but they also have a big outdoor area with a big screened-in bar! There was a huge crowd, and even though the ground was kind of wet and gross, everyone seemed to be having a good time! Sadly, they had to cancel the bonfire, since it was super-windy and nobody wanted to end up on the evening news talking about the forest fire in Shamong!
It was all to done to take care of Greg and Shelly's girls, and there was more love in those events then you would think possible (from most of the people, anyway. Meh. EXPECTRO PATRONUS!)Everyone was having fun and enjoying each other's company. The fact remains, though, that none of this would be going on if Greg was still with us, so it made all of the activities of the weekend a little bittersweet. Shelly's sweet, wonderful friend Kathy was missing Greg- he used to keep her company while Shelly and Kathy's husband Jeff would dance at events (neither Kathy nor Greg are dancers!). I kept thinking about how Greg and I would insult each other whenever there was a get-together (it's how the twisted interact, LOL!). Alot of us this weekend seemed to be thinking of the ways Greg filled the smaller spaces in our lives, and how they seem that much bigger without him. By the same token, the bigger spaces he filled- father, husband, son, brother, friend- seem cavernous.
While my heart is no longer carrying around the thousand-pound pain I felt when we first lost Greg, I am surprised to find that I can still feel the grief so sharply. Looking at mine and Pete's wedding pictures is difficult- it was one of the last times we were all together and having a good time! The main difference was that this weekend, thinking of Greg made me smile more often then it made me tear up (not that I will even pretend I didn't cry the whole way home on Friday night). This was an emotional weekend, but I am looking forward to putting myself back together and feeling like a person in the world again, instead of a person surrounded by sadness. I don't think Greg would want us to wallow- he used to be the first person to tell me that sometimes, things don't change, and that I had better either accept it or let myself turn into a person who can't move on.
I am not going to even pretend that I have been handling this well. I have been in a fog ever since Greg passed, and the only thing that's kept me afloat is knowing that I need to be there for my sisters, my nieces, and my friends, family and job. I look at Shelly and feel so weak, because without a reason to get out of bed, I could very well lie there all day, every day. I have never been good with sadness anyway, and I am one of those people who falls of the cliff, falls fast, and keeps falling. This weekend, though, was the last of the "events" surrounding Greg's death, and tomorrow, I want to start putting myself together, which is why I spent today cleaning our apartment like a psycho instead of resting.
So, wish me luck.