I guess this week wasn't much different than it was going to be. After that first day, we kept up with the activities we'd had planned. We cooked together for Thanksgiving, we cut down our Christmas tree, we had family over on Thursday, and we put up Christmas decorations on Friday.
We've been carrying on pretty much like normal... with the distinct awareness that everything is not quite normal right now. Tomorrow is the viewing. We're taking the girls- they really want to go and their counselor feels like it's important that they be allowed to. I'll be relieved when it's over.
As for the future, I have no idea what to expect. Knowing my kids, I imagine it will take time to see how this is really going to affect them.
Last March we took the kids to Disneyland. One night we stayed late in California Adventure and watched the "World of Color" program- it was amazing. As we were leaving Slim was sobbing. When I asked her what was wrong she said "It was just so beautiful." She quickly followed it up with, "It was so beautiful, and my mom didn't get to see it." She stopped crying after a few minutes. I cried the whole way back to the hotel, silently in the dark- they couldn't see me. I felt so sad for her- something that should only have been joyful brought her sorrow.
That story keeps playing in my mind, over and over and over again. I remember being afraid that every momentous occasion in her life would be tarnished by grief and disappointment. I know that's dramatic and unproductive and nothing is ever quite so simple. I suppose I just don't know what to expect for the next few months (years?) and the closest I can get to a guess is that it'll be something like that. They'll simply notice, at unexpected times, that he's gone- and they'll grieve.