The week after James died my brother came to stay with me to help me deal with a lot of the logistic stuff that you have to face pretty quickly. Getting our bank accounts straightened out, picking up the will at the lawyers office, and it was tax season so he went with me to sign and pick up our taxes. He was super helpful.
However, my brother did not know what to say and did not realize it was too soon for humor or advice. No, I had not thought about getting a roommate. No, I did not think getting a dog would be a great idea to replace my husband.
But with that said, I do have two cats. One old and crotchety who is basically a piece of furniture these days, and a young girl named Gemma whom we had just adopted a few months before. As a matter of fact, Gemma was the last being to see my husband when he died. He had taken her to the vet that day and she was alone in the examining room with him when he fell to the floor during his heart attack. The door to her carrier was open so the vet thinks he was trying to comfort her right before he died.
These two little furballs have been a great source of comfort, and even though O’Connor, who is now retired at the age of 18, no longer seeks playtime and only wants food, the responsibility of having to feed my livestock and change their litter boxes has helped keep me on track. Gemma is a delight. She sits on the couch in the hallway and waits for me to walk by for a petting session.
So even though people can make suggestions they think are practical that make you want to punch them in the face, once in a while a nugget of truth lies underneath.