Ok. I have a(chicken) bone to pick.
I lost my husband Jamey 16 days ago. If I baked a cake today in honor of his death and placed a representative number of candles on it, I could make some lame “16 candles” reference, but I digress.
In those 16 days, I’ve managed to do a lot
of things. Here’s just a smattering:
1. I’ve made dozens of phone calls to report his passing and filled out a junk load of “official” documents.
2. I’ve had to go to the county courthouse
to “probate” his will or have his will go to “probate”
(or I don’t know something about something related to a
probate or prostate or prostrate??!!)
3. I’ve gone to work every day except the day of Jamey’s funeral(and Fridays since Fridays are my day off.)
4. I’ve met with our “money guy”Bill to figure out how they heck Cael and I are
going to survive without Jamey’s income.
5. I’ve fielded dozens of concerned “checking-in” phone calls, texts, requests to “drop things off”.
6. I “volunteered” to help represent our karate school, Tiger Kang Karate, at a local township fair.
7. I’ve gone food shopping.
8. I wasted my time(but luckily not my money) on the Mayweather “fight.”
9. I’ve mowed the lawn. I’ve weed-whacked. I’ve washed dishes. I’ve washed clothes. I’ve taken care of the pets. I’ve taken care of Caeley.
I’ve gotten the mail. I’ve thrown out a dead mouse. I’ve cleaned dog poop off the bottom of my
shoes. I’ve brought my indoor plants outside. I’ve hung curtains in my bedroom. I’ve graded exams. I’ve
graded group projects. I’ve vacuumed.
10. I’ve showered. Almost every day.
11. I’ve gotten out of bed in the morning. Every morning. Every single damned morning for the last 16 days.
12. I’ve cried a little and then cried a LOT this past Sunday. At Wawa–when I saw a guy in his 40s dressed in a soccer uniform, That was a tough one.
13. And I’ve watched Netflix…….lots and lots and lots of Netflix. I’ve sat on my couch under my comfy blanket after all my other household and motherly obligations had been done and I binge-watched “The Killing” on Netflix.
And I don’t feel bad or guilty or worried that I’ve sat on the couch watching Netflix.
Apparently, this worries some other people, though.
My problem, I think, is that I don’t lie very well. I’ve been honest with people when they ask what/how I’ve been doing. I tell people the truth ‘cuz that’s kind of how I roll.
I tell people that I’m physically and emotionally exhausted.
I tell them all I want to do is stay in bed or lay around on the couch. Because it IS all I really want to do.
And I think that scares people. And I think that’s kind of weird and unfair.
I lost my husband Jamey 16 days ago.
In reality, I lost my husband Jamey 3 years ago. I’m currently grieving the loss of a life that may have/should have been. For the past 3 years, I’ve been slowly grieving the loss of the man Jamey used to be. That’s a lot of grieving. And yeah, sure, there was the Kubler-Ross standard feelings of denial, anger, bargaining, depression, well—-there’s not been any acceptance yet….I don’t know there ever will be.
But those feelings/experiences haven’t occurred in some neatly prescribed order. Sometimes I feel everything at once. Other times, I feel none of them.
But the point is–I’m choosing to “feel” them.
I’m not “getting my mind off things”. I’m not “getting off the couch and enjoying life.” I’m not “getting out and being around people.” I’m not “getting myself a bottle of wine to forget(ewww…gross, I hate wine anyway).”
I’m sitting on the couch and sometimes thinking about Jamey, Caeley and me. I’m trying to remember the good times. I’m listening to sad music. I’m listening to music he liked. I’m going through his clothes. I’m looking at our wedding albumn. I’m telling Caeley I miss him. I’m asking the dogs if they miss him.
It’s beginning to sink in.
I’m a 42 year old widow.
It’s just me and Caeley now.
I have no husband to love me anymore.
It sucks. It really sucks.
So I sit on my fucking couch after all my normal activities are done and watch tv.
I lost my husband Jamey 16 days ago.
I’ve earned some time off.
I understand everyone’s concern–I really do. People are used to seeing me “soldier up”, tough it out and be Wonder Woman. People are accustomed to me marching into a room, stone faced, and acting like every thing’s normal, even when it so clearly isn’t.
That approach worked when I needed it to. But I don’t need it to work for me now. I need to grieve.
So I’m going to grieve in a way that feels comfortable to me. Even if it means it looks uncomfortable to others.
I have a history of depression. I know what my warning signs are. I know that it is tough to tease apart my current behaviors with previous ones.
Here’s a helpful link on the clinical psychological disorder called Complicated Bereavement Disorder.
Read it and, if you find that I’m still having significant symptoms in 3 or 4 months time that are interfering with my ability to maintain a normal life, please to call me on it. I may be so deep down the rabbit’s hole by then that I won’t be able to tell the light grey from the lighter grey.
Until then, just know that what I’m doing and feeling and not doing is what I need to do. I’ll put my red boots, star-spangled blue shorts, golden bracelets and headband on soon enough. Wonder Woman will return.