A neighborhood friend, whose daughters play with our girls, stopped by the other day. She said, "What is going on? I haven't talked to you in forever." I went on to tell her about Dad's death and all the other stuff going on. She said, "What a crappy summer for your family."
She's right of course, but I realized something as I was talking to her. There's no avoiding what happened. If I don't get out and tell people, then there's no way to reconnect with everyone. The girls' closest friends and their families all know. I told them about Marlene and Dad if for no other reason than I didn't want them to be surprised if the girls mentioned it.
The reality is that I have been trying to avoid it, but it's really not possible. I recognize now that it's best to tell people on our terms -- when and where we want -- rather than during random conversations. I had an awkward exchange with another Mom at the grocery store one day. How's your Dad? Well, he died. How's your brother? Well, his wife and father died within a few months of each other, so not well. He's doing the best he can. So sorry, time to get some bananas before dance class. She was sincere, but let's just say the cereal aisle isn't the place for that kind of update.
A lot of people know something is going on because we've been so out of touch. Usually we're organizing groups for free concerts or play dates or library events. We haven't done any of it because we didn't know what was going to happen two or three weeks in advance. Those days are over, so it's time for me to get back in touch and work through all the conversations so we can all move on.