And I don't know what to do. I feel for you, JP, even though I've never met you. I have not yet experienced the death of a close family member, and this is something that shouldn't have happened to you. Not yet. You're too young. And yet you are wise beyond your years. I was so moved by what you wrote about your dad last night. I'm sitting here in my office trying to hold back the tears and getting frustrated because I don't want to hold back my emotions. And I'm conflicted and confused because I don't know who I'm crying for - you or me. I feel guilty for feeling sorry for myself, because you obviously have so much more to deal with right now and I should be able to get myself together and get through the day because my problems are nothing compared to yours. And yet we should never compare our feelings to anyone else's or think that we "should" feel this way or that way.
As I was getting ready to leave for work, Katie Couric was interviewing Anna Quindlen and she mentioned a column that Quindlen had written on grief. I tried to find it for you, but I couldn't. But they talked a little bit about how people react to Quindlen's column, and how many letters and emails she gets and why do you think it's so? Quindlen said something that rang true for me (and I'm paraphrasing here) -- it's about connecting. So many times you think that you are all alone, that you're the only one out there feeling the empty nest syndrome [or whatever the emotion may be] and then you read an article or watch a television show that perfectly captures your thoughts and feelings. And you are so thankful that someone was able to put your feelings into words.
And you know that you are not alone.
You're not alone, Jenica. I'm thinking of you and sending you the love and support you need to help you get through this incredibly difficult time. You're stronger than you know. And it's okay to cry, so go ahead and let the tears flow.