It’s been 11 months since Himself passed away. Can you believe it? The year-ish has passed so quickly, and yet it has been the longest year of my life. So much has stayed exactly as it was, but everything is completely different. How does that happen?
I remember the overwhelming desire to run screaming in the street, demanding that EVERYTHING STOP. How dare people keep living their lives, going to work, buying groceries, arguing with the kids. I wanted everything and everyone to stop, at least for a couple of days, and help me pick up all these pieces of my life that just crumbled. I’d even provide the baskets if only the world would just stop for a bit. A few people did just that, and without their help I’d still be in pieces.
I have, over the last 11 months, gradually been glued back together. Like any broken thing, there are scars, visible reminders of what happened. but that’s ok. That’s life, isn’t it: a gradual collection of scars and marks that detail the events of the past.
*an aside…see that colon up there? Do you see it?! I’ve learned how to use those things in my English course!
I can look around, and nearly everything seems the same, on the outside. The pots are still in the same cabinet, the refrigerator holds the same condiments, I still don’t use the anise. A few things are different. The brown rocking chair is red, and there’s a new bedspread on my bed.
Life has carried on with the rhythm of normalcy. #4 has his driver’s license, #3 had a baby and got a new job, #2 is in school, #1 is working. All those comfortable, normal things that are so reassuring that, in spite of falling to pieces, say that Life Is Fine. And it is. It still hurts to know I won’t be seeing Himself in this lifetime. I still haven’t cleaned out his closet. I am simply not ready yet. It’s not that I am pretending he’s going to need those clothes or anything. I just…don’t want to. Yet.
I ave learned how to handle the stuff he always took care of, the budget, paying bills, dealing with car issues. That’s been the biggest thing. He could listen to a car noise and know what it was, and if it was repair worthy or just a thing. Now I have to take it to a place and let them listen.Fortunately they don’t charge for listening, and have told me that the unusual grunt was a pump starting up. I didn’t know if it was a pump or the sound of a transmission preparing to commit suicide. I am glad it was a pump.
Now, most of the time, I can think of him, and the 28-1/2 years of our marriage, without turning into a heaving ball of misery. Well, to be honest, that only happened a few times because it’s embarrassing (even when I am completely alone). Thanks to several very good friends, there are places to go, to talk stuff out. Some of them let me cry, others make fun of Life Alone and check to be sure I am not turning into a Cat Lady. Occasionally one will go to movies with me, and another will cause me to do irresponsible (and fun) stuff. All of them keep me from feeling so totally alone and miserable. Word to the wise: make sure you have a few friends, really good ones, of all sorts.
And there’s school, the first step toward being Myself, Without Himself. It has been…well…practically never since I have been Myself. 50 years old, and figuring out how to be Myself. The direction is unclear, but isn’t it always? You might think you know where you’re going, and arrows might seem to point in a given direction, but you don’t REALLY know, you just have to trust that Someone DOES know, and follow His lead. Go through the open doors, or window, but be sure to GO. Stagnation doesn’t do anyone good. I don’t know where I am going. Once upon a time I thought I knew, but it’s ok that I don’t. Really. Because right now I know where I’m at, and I am ok with it.