I feel for Joannie Rochette, the figure skater from Canada whose mother died on Sunday, two days before her 1st Olympic skate. I think skating was the best thing she could have done, and while she's certainly sad now, I don't think it will fully hit her until this is over.
Obviously I wasn't in the Olympics, but my dad passed away in between my two concert performances of Mozart's Requiem in college. (BTW - I got major chills, as the last skater just began skating as I type this to a Requiem song!!!) I had prepared for months for these concerts, and I was full of joy over my 1st performance the night before. When I got the news about my dad, of course I cried...but it didn't quite seem real. I was at college and hadn't seen him in a few weeks. It wasn't weird that he wasn't around. I'm sure now that my brain just coped at the time using this sense of detachment, but the boring day at home before out-of-town family arrived & the funeral to-do began, I just paced the house singing my music. I'm pretty sure my mom thought I was being disrespectful, but we were in SUCH different emotional places. I wished I could go & sing that night for my dad. It was even the most poetically perfect piece: Requiem! I didn't want to sit on the couch and cry, yet, at that point.
I'm proud of Joannie and so glad she is still skating this week. I know that no matter what, it will hurt so much worse for her down the road as the gushing sympathy fades and reality sinks in, as she misses her mom being here for the little things, esp. even just being able to call her and talk; I am really glad she is getting this chance to do what she loves right now to honor her mom.