How We’re Doing

We’ve been receiving a lot of calls and e-mails asking how we’re holding up.

The answer is: as well as one can expect.

Deb and I both aren’t feeling 100% as yet and we seem to be taking turns going through rough patches. Fortunately, for the most part we ‘re able to sleep, something we couldn’t say for the first week.

The odd thing is despite the ceremonial aspects of his passing, it still feels unreal, as if he remains away at school. We look around the house and there remain so many Robbie touches that anything might trigger a reaction. As his friends were leaving for school, several stopped by to say goodbye and we let them rummage through his stuff for mementoes. Now we have a room full of stuff that needs dealing with.

We’ve also been going through the mechanical aspects of his passing. A few phone calls and we managed to shut off his credit card and cell phone. We’ve cashed in his savings bonds and are in the process of closing his bank account. Such simple little things and bit by bit, we’re taking him off the grid.

The outpouring of support has been wonderful and a pleasant treat. The cards keep coming and with them come many memories of Robbie that brighten our day a little. We got a nice list of people who made donations to The Tommy Fund which has been terrific and we still get flowers.

Deb visited the gravesite yesterday and found someone had planted some flowers there in addition to the rose plant Kate placed. Later that day, she got a ride from a neighbor and by coincidence, she was the very person responsible.

It’s odd. We anticipate sending the kids to college or the arrival of a milestone such as graduation so when the big day arrives, we’re ready. This came with such suddenness there was no way to prepare to be done saving for college, done with going to 7-West everyday, and make the transition to full time empty nesters. That lack of preparation probably has something to do with the way we feel.

We’re trying to create new routines and habits that are just for the two of us so his absence is less obvious so we’re taking regular walks with the dogs and trying to make certain to spend time together in different ways.

It’s very clear that the only real salve will be time so we’re…managing.

8 comments

  • I’m thinking of you often.

  • God bless you all (covering Katie in there, too.)
    I really hope that you find some peace and I’m so glad you and Deb have each other, Bob. You guys have been married the whole time I have known you and I admire you guys so much for that in this day and age. Love to you.

    Tom (and Sue, too)

  • I add in my small prayer from afar every day as the thought nudges me.

    Thank you for letting Robbie’s friends take a bit of him with them for comfort.

  • Pat Sponaugle

    Lisa and I are thinking of you, thank goodness you guys are sleeping better.

  • Melissa Singer

    In a sort of twilight-zone-ish moment, my 12-yo asked me this morning how you were doing. So I came here to see. I’ve no idea what reminded her; the question was completely unrelated to the topic of conversation.

    I’ve never been sure whether clearing out is better done quickly or slowly.

    The strangest thing is that you keep thinking you’re done and then finding pockets of the loved one’s life that you haven’t finished with.

    My father’s been gone for 6 years and just a few months ago my mother and I sorted through his (small) record collection. There’s still a box of his junky jewelry and tiny pocketknives sitting on a shelf in what used to be his bedroom and is now a guestroom and soon to be a sitting room for my mother.

    Even weirder are the moments when I’m walking down the street in my neighborhood and see my dad a few blocks ahead. It’s not him, but one of the hundreds of men of a certain age and physical type who look enough like him, in a certain kind of jacket and cap, to fool my memory for a moment or two.

    Then there’s what happened when my paternal grandmother died. My parents and my brother and I went to her apartment after the shiva was over and in a single day stripped it of everything personal or important to one of us. The next day the estate buyer came and two days later, everything was gone.

    It was over, and yet not over, as if doing it so fast had somehow deprived us of a real opportunity to finish up a particular piece of mourning.

    So you have my sympathies. And my love, as ever.

  • The Bergstroms

    “It aint over, ’til its over”

    I still don’t know what that means, but I keep an eye out for a “Fat Lady” around singing. So far, no music. So we go on, wondering when the punchline will come, when will we wake up, or if old wounds will ever heal. I don’t think they do, but I don’t go through quite as many bandaids as I used to.

    You and Deb and Kate have great courage, and inspire even more in others with your strength, which we will willingly give back to you as often as possible.

    Will you be covering the Baltimore Comic-con this month? I’d love to see you there, catch up, and give hugs as needed.

    ‘Drew

  • Ken Johanson

    Bob,

    I just recently heard about Robbie’s passing, and wanted to offer my condolences. I don’t know what to say, other than that you and your family are in my thoughts during this difficult time.

  • steve d.

    Bob,
    I was catching up on your blog and am deeply saddened to read of your terrible loss. Your description of the plot sounded very peaceful. May he rest in peace. My prayers are with you and your family.