Saturday January 7, 2012

The first day of the rest of our lives has been peaceful.  There's a calmness.  Relief really.  Just not as intense with Shannon gone from the hospital bed that occupied our family room.  The hospital bed is gone too. 

Our families and friends have given us space to regroup - recharge for the busy days ahead.

Jen's BFF Teri arrived from Michigan and we are watching the Lions and Saints Wildcard game.  Erin is hunkered down in her room with BFF Emily over for a sleepover.  Erin is always happy with Emily around.  There is peace.

Since Shannon's death, O'Hara's have been congregating in subsets to share stories, tears and just be together. This will have to do until we all come together Sunday, Monday and Tuesday.  But no one has felt like being alone. 

Shannon's passing was well documented in our local paper - the Rochester Post-Bulletin.  I have to tell you it is completely surreal to read your child's obituary in print.  I'm not sure how to process that.  I have only been able to look at it once.

We did manage to accomplish a few things Saturday.  Jen and Erin snuck around Apache Mall to finalize dress up clothes shopping.  I snuck around Hyvee to get us some groceries.  None of us looked to make too many contacts with outside world types.  However, we did drop in on a Rebels team pasta feed.  Had a couple drinks, shared some yucks...continuing the healing process for all.

Our friend Mike Dougherty - a PB columnist and editor - contacted us earlier this week to see if we would mind him mentioning this blog in his Saturday Digital Mike column. Jen and I spent a fair amount of energy early in Shannon's journey keeping our blog off Facebook.  But when she got really sick - around the time we were heading for St. Jude's - the blog went viral as friends and friends of friends posted and re-posted our blog link and there was no stopping the runaway train that is social media.  So the Post-Bulletin pub is not really going to make a difference.

I think we are still writing for us.  And for our families.  And for our friends that want to know how we are managing on a day-to-day basis.  The truth is we are day-to-day.