Monday, May 31, 2010

Going to Bed and Waking Up

One of the worst parts about being a widow is going to bed at night and waking up in the morning....alone. My husband and I had some of our best conversations in the morning if we both woke up around the same time. And even though I had to get up earlier than he did for work, on the weekends he had a tendency to wake up before me, and he would get ready for the day in the dark so he wouldn't wake me.

I started the first couple of days after he died sleeping on my side of the bed, with his side empty. I would look at his pillow and the big empty space and cry myself to sleep. I've since moved to the middle of the bed for two reasons...I couldn't stand the big space to my left, and the pillow was gone. My 11-year-old took the pillow to sleep on. He says it makes him feel close to his Daddy. I was a little bummed out at first, but then it was OK. Bobby had fleece that he wore while he was sick one morning for a few hours. He never wore it after that, though, because it was warm in the house. Now I sleep with the fleece. I like having it there. It's not a replacement by any means, but it takes away a very small part of the loneliness that I deal with every night when I go to bed. Not a lot, but a little bit. Just something of his that is there when I sleep.

Now the sound of silence in the morning is absolutely deafening. I talk to him, and hopefully he is talking back to me. Yes, I talk to him, out loud. I guess some people might consider me a little crazy. Hey, maybe I am? But if talking to my husband makes me feel just a tad bit better, helps me get through the silent morning part of the day, then who's place is it to judge? (A lot of people judge, but that'll be a whole other entry one day.) I've tried putting on the radio and the television, but neither of these even come close to the conversation we would have in the morning. Even if we were both tired (especially on a work day when we had to get up really early) and we didn't say much, we still knew the other was there. And he never left in the morning without kissing me goodbye!

I'm thinking I might want to include in this blog some of the humorous things that my husband liked to do or some of the funny things he has said. When we would wake up on a Saturday or Sunday morning, and we knew we were going to lie there and talk for a little while, he would go and brush his teeth, then come back to bed to talk. He said he never wanted me to smell his bad breath. He was so funny that way, and quite considerate, too. (I mean, who really wants to smell someone's bad breath?) And I can honestly say in the 19 years we were together, I never smelled any bad breath on him!! I thought that was one of the cutest things that he did.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

He Lives On

I have never in my life gone through so many emotions, some simultaneously, as when I lost my husband to cancer. So I thought I might start this blog to try to describe some of these feelings. It's not going to be as straightforward as I thought. My mind moves a lot faster than my fingers on the keyboard.

I never thought I would be a widow at my age. It's something that you think only happens to old people and occasionally an unlucky young person here or there, (the youngest I heard of was 24 years old), but you never think it will happen to you. Bobby (my husband) and I used to joke around that I would out-live him, based on statistics. He was 9 years older than me, he was male, and the women in my family have a habit of living really long anyway. I guess I always knew it would happen, but I figured I would be at least in my 70s! Never thought it would be in my 40s.

The day that they told me he was going to pass, I set up my Ipod and played his favorite songs for him. I talked to him all day. I gave him lots of kisses and hugs. I loved lying next to him and hugging him while he rested. When he died...I mean the minute that I found out, was very sad and almost it wasn't true. The love of my life was gone, how could that possibly be? He was still at my side, I could touch him and kiss him, so it couldn't be true. When the priest came to give him last rites, I could barely hold myself together but there were all these people around and I could not fall apart with them all around. So I didn't. I can't figure out how, but I didn't.

However, I could not stay in the house alone. I mean, the kids were home, but I needed someone else. My sister offered to stay, and just knowing she was on the couch was a comfort but to this day I don't know why it was. It wasn't like she was in the room with me or anything, and we didn't even talk to each other after we said "Good Night"...we just went to sleep.

I guess my point is that I was feeling emotions that I didn't even know existed. It goes beyond sadness. It doesn't even have a name. Grief doesn't even describe it. Grief is just a part of it, as is sadness. I cannot think of one word in the English language to describe the emotions that I dealt with on that day, and still deal with today, 6 1/2 weeks later, on a daily basis. I can tell you though, that none of it is good. There is no silver lining when losing a husband. All those sayings about making lemonade out of lemons do not apply here. When people tell me he is in a better place, I have a hard time with that, too. His place is with me. We were like one person. When he died, half of me died, too, that will never come back to life. But I'm still whole, because half of him lives on in me. I talk to him every day and look for signs of him talking to me. And dammit...he does.