this summer

July 22, 2014 |  Category:   life







…seems to be ambling by faster than usual. I suppose there was also a lost month in there. As we go about our usual summer activities, I’m struck by how mild the weather has been, save for a few hot muggy days here and there. I’m not a fan of sleeping with AC on, so it’s been a pleasant thing, snuggling under a blanket with the windows open; the evenings have been downright cool.


The girls are in and out of camp these 2 months and when they’ve been home, always ask “what are we going to do today?” I was the same way as a kid–always needing to know what’s next–and it drove my mom crazy. But the days with them at home have fallen into a comfortable, leisurely routine. I watch them and admire how close they are, even for siblings, and sometimes feel pangs of sadness that I don’t have that anymore. Some days are still met with disbelief that he is gone. Other days I feel kind of like a jerk because I’m obviously not the only person who has ever lost someone. In that respect, although I know this thinking is ridiculous, grieving feels a bit self indulgent, particularly when you feel like you need to move on with life. Things are still complex; I think about him everyday.
It’s easier to forget about things when I’m at the office. I forget that I’m angry or sad, but scrambling for childcare when this was unexpected has been a challenge. Maybe we’ve taken for granted this flexibility that we’ve created because we’ve always been around when we’ve needed it. I haven’t given it much thought since the kids started school years ago, but the stress of childcare has bubbled a bit to the surface lately. Working parents – in office, out of office, work from home – it’s all a challenge in its own ways.

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  • Christina Graybard July 22, 2014 at 2:11 pm

    Dear Jenna, I have appreciated your blog for many years, and I feel terrible about your brother’s death and what you and your family must be feeling. I live not far from you and am 99% retired from a career as an editor. To thank you for the things you have given me through your blog, I would be very happy to help with child care if/as you need it this summer. I am on FB, so feel free to private message me there about arrangements. I am glad to provide personal references, and I can tell you more about myself when we speak on the phone. You shouldn’t have to worry about such things, and I hope you will let me give you this assistance.

    • Jenna July 23, 2014 at 7:45 am

      Hello Christina, how very kind of you to offer. There is no need to thank me for anything or offer something in return! I’m so happy that you have enjoyed reading here through the years; that’s all that matters to me. I may message you one day, you never know. I appreciate the thought so much.

  • Leilani July 22, 2014 at 7:51 pm

    Grieving and moving on are not mutually exclusive. You can do both. It’s ok.

  • amy July 23, 2014 at 8:29 am

    hey jenna. please try not to be so hard on yourself. grief is very unpredictable and from my experience, you will have good and bad days maybe for the rest of your life (sorry) – but the bad days do become less. sending you a big hug! xx amy

  • Pink Ronnie July 26, 2014 at 8:21 am

    It’s hard being the one left behind…
    Thinking of you,
    Ronnie xo

  • victoria July 26, 2014 at 9:58 pm

    My brother passed away nearly 3 years go – my gosh it seems incredible to say that out loud, that time has passed on so quickly without him. I don’t think of grief as indulgent, I loved my brother for 41 years, he was my favourite, the one who “got” me, how would it be if life adjusted back to normal so quickly after him passing? I will never get over having lost him, the whole family is forever changed, but we go on and we function because we can, we do and it makes us more grateful for what we have. I live not just for myself and my little unit, but for him, for the life he no longer has, dying is such a waste.