Before I go on, I need to tell you that lately, when Rowan says something incorrect or wrong, she stops herself and says, "Oh, I'm just being silly" or "I'm just kidding." I think it's her way of not being wrong, playing it off as intentional silliness.
So back to coming home. When I was pulling into the driveway late Tuesday night/Wednesday morning, I saw Aimee's car in the driveway (we'd taken mine to the airport). Of course, I didn't say anything about it to Rowan. But when I got her out of her car seat and started carrying her towards the house, she turned her head and saw Aimee's car. "Daddy, look! Mommy's home!" As she turned back to me I saw the almost immediate correction cross her face as she realized that of course Mommy wasn't home. Before I even had a chance to respond, she said, initially with just a small smile, "Oh, I'm just being si-" The 'silly' was cut off as she suddenly burst into sobs, dropping her head onto my shoulder. It was the hardest she'd cried since when I first told her about Aimee's death by the pool of the vacation house in Florida.
We stood there in the dark, cold driveway for a few minutes, both of us crying next to Aimee's car. I whispered to her that it was ok, that I missed Mommy too. I acknowledged her being sad, and told her I was sad tjust like she was. And after a minute she gathered herself together, looked at me with the same look she'd given me after I told her about Aimee's death initially, and we went inside.
Has it been hard to be at home?
I've had a few people ask me if it's been hard being back in the house. There are pictures of Aimee everywhere. Her clothes and other personal effects cover the house. We bought the house together, painted it together, made it a home together. Has it been hard to be here?
Strangely, no. I don't know why, but seeing all of her things hasn't had an impact on me. I can look at photos of her and not break down into tears. I unpacked the suitcases from the trip today and washed her clothes with mine, and it felt no different than washing clothes two weeks ago. I don't know why this is, though I think part of it is that I'm still somewhat in a state of shock. But in any event, being here in the house is not difficult, at least not yet. And I'm relieved by that. Because this is Rowan's home too, and I want her life to be as normal as possible to the best I can make it that way. Same schedule, same routines, etc. The biggest thing in her life has changed - her mommy is gone - so I want as much else in her life to be stable. That includes her home.
Now, we'll see what happens after the shock wears off.