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We're friends, not doctors, financial or legal professionals, and we're not "grief experts." But we are here, and we've been "there."

My son Collin and I were were eating frozen yogurt and talking about our lives. He said to me, "Mom, I am a zombie. I get up, go along, and cry when I need to, but mostly, I feel like a zombie."

He's right.

We are having a gorgeous summer here in Chicagoland (for you outsiders, that's what we call the "collar counties" that ring the city of Chicago). The sun is shining, the weather may get a bit hot some days, but it is apparently a pretty good summer.

My son and I just can't see it, not really. We feel when the grief hits (sadness, bargaining, anger, the whole gamut), otherwise we have periods of numbness. I can't even call it sleepwalking because we appear to be at things, to do things, sometimes a feeling penetrates here and there, but we are zombies.

Figuring out what we can do is like poking a bruise. We poke and if we feel nothing, we go, zombie masks in place. If we poke and it hurts (or might hurt) we decline.

There are those rare occasions that wake us and it doesn't hurt. Last night, we went to celebrate A first birthday party at our friend's house. We enjoyed the pool party and I saw my son laugh for the first time since my husband was killed. It reminded Collin and I that when the Zombies wake, not all that we feel will be bad or hurtful.

Someday, we will wake from this and embrace our new life. We just have to navigate this grief journey first.

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