“An object in motion tends to stay in motion. An object at rest tends to stay at rest.” – definition of the concept of inertia, as best as I can remember from high school physics.

I know that law is meant to describe characteristics of the natural world. However, I see it play out in people’s lives too. Specifically my own.

If I’m busy, I tend to stay busy and stay productive. The more I have to do, the more I get done. It’s like a swift current, carrying me along.

If I’m sick or worn down, I tend to stay idle and find even the thought of doing something that needs to be done a bit overwhelming. It takes tremendous effort to overcome that perception and actually get moving again.

This week, my body is slowing me down. The adrenaline and the press of tasks that needed to be done immediately after Elli’s death is gone. Everything wears me out faster and further than it did before she left us. So I’m struggling to find a good balance between indulging in idleness and setting greater expectations than are reasonable. Being sad is tiring. Adjusting to completely different responsibilities and ways of thinking is draining. I feel a bit adrift right now, as I seek new paths for my mind.

Something that has come as a bit of a surprise is that fully grasping that someone is gone takes time. It is hard for me to fully wrap my head around the fact that while she was so very alive on Saturday, October 18, she is completely gone from this life now. The full spectrum of implications or consequences of her absence doesn’t hit you immediately — if it did, I don’t think anyone could survive. It settles in bit by bit over a long time. I’m feeling that settling in now, and am learning from others that it could take months to get through this phase.

Meanwhile, the kids still need everything they always did. They still bicker and fight. They still need help wiping and getting shirts off and jeans buttoned and teeth brushed. They still say and do funny things, annoying things, and disrespectful things. The bills still need to be paid. Food has to be made and cleaned up, and laundry must be done, at least occasionally.

So I have to find ways to overcome my inertia to at least accomplish the necessary this week. And some of that necessary is just being still and resting and praying through the thoughts and feelings and fears and questions that come with the loss of someone dear to me.

But right now, I think I need to figure out what exactly the 15-month-old is ripping up over there behind the high chair!