I didn’t mean THIS !
My husband’s death was unexpected, shocking and sad. He didn’t feel well on Friday evening and was gone by Saturday morning. I was as shocked as you might guess yet I found myself coping.
I am certain that my faith was central in my survival and coping…I really believed with every fiber of my being that he was in Heaven and he was happier now than he had ever been before. I was soothed that I knew I was a great wife and in our Faith Tradition (Catholicism) the primary goal of Marriage is to get one’s spouse to Heaven – and to the best of my understanding (with a stop over in Purgatory) I had succeeded.
I hated so many of the tasks I had to do (one of which I haven’t completed). I was paralyzed by with angst over what to do with his soap, shampoo, toothbrush, military uniforms, and pile of dirty laundry. I found a proper disposition for all of these items except the laundry (it’s still in my closet). I hated ordering checks without his name. I hated having his name removed from our cars. I hated closing his business and having his cell phone deactivated. With a wild passion I hated deleting his name from my phone (I got up the morning of his funeral and got a momentary burst of courage and did it). I hated catching myself speaking of him in the present tense or saying “we” when there really was no “we” at all…but mostly I hate seeing old couples together – the thing I thought I would have and don’t….and yet I persevered even in these hated tasks.
I did better with other things…like making decisions. I had to make about 200 quick decisions and I think I did a fine job. I redecorated his office and took it for mine which I argue was a good idea. I reconfigured some financial things which seem to have worked out fine (except when I told the shrew at the bank that buying Dave’s casket was more pleasant than dealing with her). I contracted some work on the house and had some items fixed and it all went well.
I still cry many days but I trudge through and do pretty well mostly. I am recently reminded, however, of something I said soon after he died.
“I am OK, I think, but I hope I don’t get to the 6 month point and crash”.
3 days before the 6 month mark, I did this:
Just for the record, when I said “crash” I meant it as a metaphor.
(Do you hear that Universe? METAPHOR!)
He bought me this car and I think he was really proud of seeing me in it. A guy at the Mercedes dealership said “It takes a special driver to get the most from that car” and he responded “My wife is not that person” haha !
Everyone involved in the crash walked away and I have a newfound fondness for airbags and the capacity for my car to protect soft human flesh while allowing steel to crumple up. I am terribly unsettled that a split second of distraction (NOT caused by a phone, I was neither talking nor texting) could have such awful consequences and I am reminded of the random nature of life and death. Im reading a book about St Ignatius of Loyola and he said that we shouldn’t be afraid of bad things happening…they WILL happen, but we don’t need to be afraid.
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