I've experienced enough life changes to know that normal never returns. I know it takes time, that normal reshapes itself into what we have now.
It hasn't been enough time for me, just a month since my brother's passing. I struggle every day to deal with that. There is something else I continue to struggle with also. Something, that I do realize, is preventing me some what, from accepting the new normal. Something that continues to prevent me from being "his little faerie".
That something is, survivor's guilt. Not guilt that my brother passed and I'm still here, I know my brother wouldn't want that for me. No, my guilt is centered around my Sister-in-law. She is so much more to me than just the woman my brother married. She is one of my very best friends, the sister I always yearned for.
In many ways, especially in our relationships with our husbands, we are much the same. She is the only woman, in my real life, that I could talk openly and honestly with, about my relationship with Musicman, without having to censor myself. She always understood, because her relationship with my brother was much the same as ours. Musicman and my brother are much the same when it comes to their personalities and the things in life they find important. My surviving brother even commented on this similarity recently to Musicman.
The first 2 nights after my brother's passing, before Musicman arrived, the little bit of sleep I got was in a pullout bed, with my sister-in-law. We spent those hours talking about the fact that she is only in her mid 40's, younger than me, and now a widow. She talked a lot about the things my brother told her during his illness, about their lack of a physical relationship. He regretted that he was too ill to have one with her any longer, he wanted her to find someone else. She can't fathom that, I totally understand.
Her pain from losing him is palpable. I didn't then and still don't now know what to say to comfort her. I can't even imagine what she is going through. Those nights, I just held her hand and let her talk, until exhaustion finally gave her a few hours of relief, in the form of sleep. I was there for her when she woke up in a panic because she thought he needed her. During the entire 7 months of his illness she never once left his side. Then, in the blink of an eye, he was gone.
I can't seem to get those memories out of my head. They are definitely affecting the way I interact with Musicman and I don't know how to fix it. I know, with time, it will get better, but I want it all to be better now.
I feel like a china doll, suspended in time, one second before she hits the floor and shatters. The slightest breeze is to be feared, for the potential damage it could do.