When things happen that you don't expect you want to understand it; you need reasons, explanations. I've talked about this before. When tragedies big or small occur we seek someone or something to blame. And when there are none, we often take responsibility ourselves.

There are things I know intellectually. I understand that grief is a process, that mourning occurs in a variety of ways. So when I feel sharp and dark pangs in my stomach or feel nauseous or have difficulty looking at pictures because I will shake with loss I, on some level, get it. That doesn't make it easier but I get it.

When people lovingly ask how I am I'm not sure what to say. The short answer is I'm managing. And I think that's all I can hope for for now. Midori wanders around sniffing and meowing and sleeping at my feet. M and I verbally tiptoe around one another concentrating on pancakes and chili, making jokes about glitter vests and boxer shorts, knowing we have one another, attempting to read each other for clues. Shared and intimate grief is new for me. When Candace died, I was mostly alone. I wasn't close in proximity to her family. She was in Connecticut when it happened and I was in Alabama. When my grandfather, and my great-grandmothers died it was sad but expected. They'd been sick and suffering. Mourning for them was nothing like I feel now. Even when M's dad died the grief I shared with her was removed and distant. I liked her Dad and often miss his laughter and funny jokes but I wasn't experiencing the same depth of emotions M felt. This grief now, is different. We both lost the same thing. We cared equally and it hurts in similar ways.

I don't know how people lose children. I can't even imagine. I don't know how they deal with rooms and cribs and toys. What do you do with the stuff? We're going to store Dia's things. We might one day be okay with getting another dog, like when we have a yard and we don't want to spend all that money over again. And we don't want it just staring us in the face so M's mom said she'd store it for us. I think it's a good solution, one for which I am grateful.

I appreciate the thoughts and kind words. It does help. Definitely.