Sort of. But only because I've already done "Firsts..." here. Last night, the kids and I attended an Open House BBQ at the home of my friends, Jeff & Patty, to celebrate Jeff's 50th birthday. (Which is actually today.. HAPPY BIRTHDAY, JEFF!). I almost didn't go. Jeff told me on Friday night that they were expecting between 50-80 people. I know very few of Jeff & Patty's other friends. I don't do well in situations that require mingling. But my kids enjoy their kids, I like Jeff & Patty so I sucked it up and I went.
I had forgotten that there would be introductions. Introductions that went like: Sarah has 3 kids, 4 year old boy twins and a 7 year old. Kathryn has 3 kids and they're close to our kids' ages. VERY few people at this party knew about Seth. His name didn't come up all evening. And I guess, as awkward and strange as it was, it needed to be that way. I"m struggling a bit. People talk about feeling "disloyal to the departed loved one" and the conflicting emotions that can bring up and I confess; occasionally, I would think that was ridiculous. I KNOW life is going to go on, Seth's not always going to be an up-front part of it. It DID feel odd to not talk about him tonight.. to not say, "I have FOUR kids" (although, really, all night I don't think I actually answered the how many kids do you have question even once).
So, all in all, this was a HUGE, saddening first. It IS okay that Seth wasn't a part of the evening for others. He is always a very large part of my heart. I get that it's not always appropriate to discuss that part of my life story. This is just part of moving forward. Also, it was interesting to me that this environment, surrounded by mostly strangers, was an ENTIRELY different experience than when I"m in environments surrounded by people who DO know about Seth, even if Seth is not mentioned (as was recently alluded to here).
The good news about yesterday evening? Next time I find myself in a similar situation, it will not be the first! I think (and hope and pray) that even if it is not easier, it WILL be a little less disconcerting.