Much as I hate the stupid little clichés that seem to pop up on a regular basis, “That just happened” is pretty appropriate any more…
So it’s just over two months since I’ve been widowed… I still can’t believe I’m a widow. It is absolutely nothing like I expected. There is a part of my brain that can’t quite wrap my mind around the idea that Mike is gone and he isn’t coming back. I cry on and off, I engage in magical thinking on and off (apparently adopting the cat wasn’t enough to piss him off and make him come back to yell at me), I think of him near constantly, and the small things are becoming the big things.
I’ve met a lot of people in the past 2 months. I have a ton of phone calls to return when I get around to it. Friends have been so kind, but I don’t feel like really talking to anyone. I’ve been truly touched by all the cards and letters I’ve received, the emails, the donations to Leah’s future. I won’t have to cook Leah and myself dinner until sometime in October courtesy of my MOPS group, and much of the time I don’t have to worry about lunch either. People have babysat, cleaned my house, made and returned calls for me, done yardwork, put me in touch with counselors and support groups, driven me around town, and made emergency runs with donuts and chocolate. It’s been extraordinary, the support I have.
The bills are piling up. I’m trying to figure out what to do about the mortgages and the house. I haven’t paid the mortgages in 2 months and have applied for a modification. I will not come out of this situation with a lot of money. I will have to discipline myself to stick to a firm budget.
But for the first time in forever, I don’t really care and I’m not really worried. After all, the worst has happened. My beautiful, smart, kind, funny, wonderful husband is gone. We fulfilled our marriage vows “till death do us part”, and now he has died and we are parted.
I miss all the little things. I miss hearing his watch click shut at 4am when he’s deciding to get out of bed and go to work. At least once a day, something happens and I immediately think, “I gotta tell Mike about this!”. I miss “Attagirl, Susan” when I accomplish something big or small. I miss his hugs, he hugged like he owned you, like if he let go, you’d float away and vanish. I miss changing his hearing aid wax catchers. I miss a bottle of ketchup on the table all the time. I miss sleeping in on Saturday mornings and waking up to giggles from Mike and Leah both. I miss hearing him yell at the Patriots and the Red Sox, and singing at the top of his lungs. I miss my morning emails, and the news articles that I never bothered to read. I miss making him take and return phone calls. I miss sitting at the train station and meeting his friends when he got home at night. I miss cutting his hair. I miss snuggling in bed and getting him to turn over. I miss him coming down with a variety of exotic ailments. I miss his same 5 stories over and over again. I miss dreaming about our future. I miss evenings in his office and how he’d say, “you’re not bothering me, I love being in here together.” I miss “karaoke” nights. I miss his laugh. I miss his funny faces and his chewed up finger nails. I miss his voice and his smell. I miss being loved like he loved me.
I would do just about anything, anything at all to bring him home, to make this different. The last 2 months are a blur, and it seems so unfair to still be here, to still be living when I have so little to offer the world and he had so much.
Please don’t avoid me. I need to hear about how you miss him too. I want to hear your stories and what kind of a person you remember him to be. Say his name. Risk making me cry. Sometimes I feel like I’m the only person who remembers and misses him because everyone is so darned worried about upsetting me. I’m already upset. Talking about him and his love for all of us and the silly things he did helps me. Invite us out. Sometimes we’ll come, sometimes we won’t. I love keeping Leah busy and keeping the pressure off me a little bit. But some days I just want to hibernate and hide.
Please don’t pity us. What has happened is awful. What’s to become of us, I do not know. But Leah and I were so lucky to have had Mike and we are so lucky to have each other. Offer your condolences, your sympathy, but not your pity. We are going to be ok.
Please ask how I am. I will continue to answer “I’m OK” unless you seem to want to hear more and then I will give you the full on answer about good days and bad days and surviving. Please ask how Leah is. She is OK too. But we love knowing that people are thinking of us both.
Please be patient with me. I don’t feel like writing letters, talking on the phone much… Most everything has lost its meaning. The prior joy I took in Facebook and email is gone. I’ve never been a phone person in the best of circumstances. But leave messages, call, email, write a note and send it. I do keep a list and someday I’ll return everyone’s good wishes. Understand that one day I may feel like going out and doing a bunch of things and then I may not want to leave my house for 3 weeks. I’m doing the best I can to make sense of thoughts and feelings I don’t even understand myself.
Please don’t take it personally when I don’t want to go to your church, talk to your counselor, try your drug regimen, eat your macrobiotic diet, or start doing your yoga routine. I have a crappy relationship with God right now, I’m not ready for counseling, I’m not good at taking pills, I can barely reheat food much less try a whole new cooking lifestyle, and I’m lucky I can touch my hips, much less bend over backwards and touch my toes to my nose. I’m appreciative of all your suggestions, but I have to go about this my own way and in my own time. Keep your dietician’s number handy though, and I might use it in the future.
For now, I will keep on keeping on, for our daughter and for him. My life has to mean something more now. It’s only fair to him.