One of the blessings to come from this tragedy is that it has brought the rest of my family closer together. I really can't imagine having to deal with Mike's death without my parents. They've said that losing Mike has brought them closer together, and I need them more now, too. We are the survivors.
Mom and Dad are coming to visit on Wednesday, and will spend most of the time they are here looking at condos. Before Mike died, they never would have considered moving out here. Now the plan is for them to move out as soon as they can sell their house. It will be great for all of us to see one another more often. They will be here to watch Dolly grow up instead of seeing her only twice a year. I know they never would have moved so far away from Mike. Part of me feels guilty for any positive outcome of the suicide. Clearly I would rather have Mike alive than have my parents move to California. These thoughts are irrational, of course. We are allowed to make positive changes. As my Mom said, just because Mike ended his life doesn't mean we stop living.
Another benefit is that when my parents get older, they will be close by for me to take care of them. Mike would have been given power of attorney for medical and financial decisions if my parents ever became incapacitated. Now it will be me--when that time comes, a long way down the road--to handle these matters alone.
I hope California will be a new chapter in my parents' lives that helps in their healing. We will never recover from what happened. But at least we will be together.