Why You Should Never Cancel a Vacation

BlogHer Original Post

Being is absolutely essential to grief.

Being is very difficult to achieve when there is mail to be opened and backpacks to be checked and beds to be made. I realized while floating on a paddle board in the Gulf of Mexico that even if the trip felt inappropriate and self-indulgent, keeping our plans and getting away from our normal lives for a week was absolutely the best thing we could've done to help us work through our mourning and prepare for re-entry. We imagined what Grandpa was doing just then. We prayed for the family. We spent every minute together, the three of us, for eight days straight after weeks of separation from my husband broken up in one- and two-day increments crammed with housework and errands and laundry. We built sand castles so grand that strangers posed for pictures next to them. We watched dolphins throw their bodies into the air in order to play in the wake of a passing boat. We made microwave popcorn and watched HDTV at night as my daughter drifted off to the sound of waves pounding outside the open sliding door.

And at the end of the week, as much as I hated to leave, I was ready to come home and face reality. My husband has to leave again for three more weeks starting Monday. My daughter goes back to school that day to who knows what homework she missed in the rush of funeral travel. Getting through these things on my own while my husband is gone is hard for me. I have to mentally shore myself up to maintain the house, the bills, the child, the job on my own. It shouldn't be so hard, but it is for me. I left Kansas City last Wednesday feeling like one huge raw nerve, one too-full train from snapping like a twig mentally. I came back feeling emotionally wrapped in cotton.

I'm okay now.

Don't cancel that trip. Don't worry about the state of the house or what leaving now will bring on the flip side. Just go. Life is short, and these moments will not last forever. Soak in as much sunshine as you can while you're here.

Rita Arens is the author of the young adult novel The Obvious Game & the deputy editor of BlogHer.com. Find more at www.ritaarens.com.


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