"No matter what day or when, it's not going to be an easy thing or won't be the same, but I have to take care of my family," he said. "This is what I do and what I know how. It's time to go back."
Schoeneweis was activated from the bereavement list Tuesday after three weeks away from the team. On May 20, Schoeneweis' wife, Gabrielle Schoeneweis, 39, was found dead in the couple's home in the Phoenix suburb of Fountain Hills. Authorities have not determined a cause of death.
"Obviously, we still have heavy hearts for him and I know he's still going through a lot," D-backs manager A.J. Hinch said. "We are certainly thrilled to have him back and we'll provide any support that he needs as his life gets back under way in the normal schedule that he's used to in baseball life."
Schoeneweis said he considered retirement but changed his mind.
"It's something that I would feel unfinished for me, personally," he said. "I think my wife would want me to play as well. My son is getting to the age where he is getting into it as well. He understands it. He wants Daddy to be a baseball player, too."
For the last 21 days, the pitcher has been dealing with his wife's death and caring for the couple's four children. His days have been busy, he said. His nights have been hard.
He is grateful for the family, friends and community members that have helped him cope in the aftermath but says life has not been easy.
Baseball will help.
"I kind of put myself on the back burner," he said. "It's been kind of tough on me recently. I'm running out of things to do. At 8:30 at night, everybody is asleep, so it's good to continue on and have something else to be distracted [by]. Baseball is pretty distracting. It takes a lot of concentration and focus. It will be good for me personally."
Schoeneweis is baseball ready. The left-handed pitcher threw an inning in an extended spring training game last week and a bullpen session Monday and said his arm feels fine. The D-backs made room for him on the roster by optioning Daniel Schlereth to Double-A.
That said, the veteran still doesn't know what to expect from himself when he takes the mound for the first time since his wife's death.
"It's kind of an odd feeling sometimes, but fortunately I'm a professional athlete that has the innate ability to be able to turn things on and off mentally," Schoeneweis said. "I've been able to train myself to do that in the past. It will be emotional, I'm sure. It's different. It's not the same. It's my job and I'm fully confident I can get the job done."
In 19 games with the D-backs this season, Schoeneweis has a 2.53 ERA in 10 2/3 innings. For his career, he is 45-55 with a 4.89 ERA in 536 games with the Angels, White Sox, Blue Jays, Reds, Mets and D-backs.
"I've played a long time. I think I will be OK," he said. "The family is good and it's time for Daddy to go back to work."
Jesse Sanchez is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.