One of the first things that raced through me upon the news of Shawn’s death was, “We are not prepared for this. We are not prepared to be separated. We didn’t plan to do this alone.”
I find myself meticulously organizing my house. It has become a daily chore to thoroughly clean out a new closet, corner or crevice. The efforts conscientiously work to prepare myself. In my pursuit to “make the house tidy”, I have to admit that it is really an endeavor to “make the house ready”. I have this paranoia lingering over me that if another tragedy visits, I must be ready.
The next time someone knocks on my door to say, “There has been an accident…” I will be prepared. Everything will be set and in place and I will be able to stop life with any future shocking news. My laundry will be folded and I will be able to focus on crying. My dishes will be done and I will be able to concentrate on all the new changes that are guaranteed to follow. The bins in the closets will be labeled, in case a new friend comes into my life to help me out and needs to find something. This will make it easier. I am going to be prepared.
If we need a phone number it will be neatly typed and hanging in the cabinet by the telephone. If I can’t get out of bed for a few days, my house will still be able to function. I am putting our belongings in such order that I could sleep for a week and the house would run by itself. I am going to be prepared.
I am not going to let such a blow shock me again. I am not going to let disaster put my world in chaos again. I am not going to stagger. I am not going to be overcome by the pandemonium. Is this pride or survival? Shawn, the next time they come to tell me that you were killed, I am going to be ready. I have to be ready. I can’t live in this type of turmoil. Maybe if I can make the house perfect, then maybe, just maybe…it won’t crush me so badly next time.
Secretly, Shawn, I would love if you could sneak back and enjoy this precise order in our home. I wish you could live in this clean house. I promise I will get the laundry done faster than I could before. I promise I will keep all your favorite snacks stocked in the pantry. I promise I will sweep the garage. I have this figured out now. I am ready. I am prepared for you to come back.