It seems that it took roughly six weeks for the soul-numbing shock to wear off, and the tears to start. I'm not much of a crier. I never have been. I barely cried the first month. And now I can't stop. This upsets Walter terribly and he avoids me a lot. It freaks him out that he can be talking about something seemingly innocent and innocuous, and I can't respond without my voice breaking.
Over and over again my mind plays through the few days that lead to her death. I was so sick myself, and felt so sorry for myself that I had to take care of her when I could barely stand up myself. I wonder if I missed something, if I'd sucked it up and done what I needed to, if I'd taken her back to the doctor, gotten more fluids in her, if if if. The thoughts chase themselves around my head morning and night, but they don't bring her back. Nothing is going to bring her back. I go to her room and look at her shelves full of dolls and trinkets and treasures and try to truly comprehend that she'll never play with them again. That the dolls she got for Christmas were barely touched. That I'll never see her sweet face again, or hear her voice. I know that having her here forever wouldn't have been long enough, but 16 years just wasn't enough.
Nearly every minute of my life for the last 17 years was spent caring for her. Now every minute is spent thinking of her and missing her.
In other news, Walt and I have been blessed to find a place to move to that will be more affordable for us now. The sad reality is that with Cassie's death, we also lost her social security benefits, which constituted about a third of our income. In some regards this will be balanced by the out of pocket expenses for her that I won't be paying now, but until I find a secure job, lower rent is a priority.
Finding this place is very good. The timing, needing to move in on April 1st, is hard. I can't say right now if I would ever feel ready, but I can say that the thought of moving is traumatic. Packing up Cassie's room, not being able to go in there every day and sit on her bed, see her bathrobe still hanging on the closet door and her purse on the doorknob. Like she will be home any minute. Of course many of her things will be displayed throughout anywhere I call home, always, but the idea of living in a space where I have no memories of her is hard. We loved this house. It's been good to us. We have a lot of wonderful memories here of sleepovers and parties and holidays. I know those memories will always be a part of me, but right now I want to burrow in and stay in place, but life has other plans for me and the Boy Wonder.