I've been away for the funeral of my husband's mother. I am grappling for the right words. I doubt there are any. I doubt that I could wield them with any skill at this time, anyway. It doesn't matter.
What does matter is that I am also a mother in law and I happen to be, for the moment, alive. It matters that I treat my sons in law decently and kindly. And EVEN if they are not the hugging type, they have to to tolerate hugs twice a year..... house rules. There are occasions when I need their help around the place. I can only accept it if it is given with a willing heart. I try to always thank them, because no matter what we do together, no matter how small an effort we put forth, they had to alter their lives and change their schedules to accommodate. That is a huge thing and needs to be acknowledged.
Then there are the children. My grands are so precious to me. They make my heart keep beating. Just like my own children, I know I would give my life.... or take one, to keep them safe.
These are things that I do... this is what I am, because it isn't what I ever got.
It is a strange outside of yourself experience to go through the funeral process for a person who never liked you. I'm not glad she is gone, but I can't seem to grieve for her either. I do grieve for the opportunities she missed. The times she damaged instead of enriched. I grieve for the emotional cuts she put on my children. I grieve for my husband, who isn't quite sure whether or not his mother loved him. There are plenty of places to put grief. But, it's time to move on. As always, life takes precedence over death. It has to... it must.