Lately I have been missing my wedding ring.
When I wore it – I would play with it with my thumb. I find myself reaching for it. And when I don’t find it on my left hand, I reach for it on my right hand.
It catches me by surprise, this missing ring. I haven’t worn it in… umm… a long time?
But I miss it. I miss the solid presence of it.
I like karaoke. I like to get up and sing, I like the comraderie of the people who sing and enjoy singing regardless of talen.
I like to sing.
I’m pretty good at it, too.
And I have a few go-to songs I sing at karaoke.
One is “The Rose” by Bette Midler.
It’s a freaking love song.
One I sang to my husband. For my husband. Reminded me of him.
Tonight I’m at karaoke. Did I mention I like karaoke? And I sing The Rose.
Suddenly… I’ have interspersed over each other in my mind… Mark AND Mike.
My mind flashes to Mark’s face. Then to Mike’s. Then to Mark’s. Then to Mike’s.
It was weird.
Who am I singing the love songs to now?
Both of them, I suppose. I’m singing to the love I shared with Mark, my past and the love I always WILL share with him…and I’m singing to the love I share with Mike and the future and the love I always WILL share with him.
I love love love them both… forever.
I read to escape.
Real life is messy. Real life is people dying, kids getting drug addicted, mom’s getting depressed, dad’s losing jobs, and lots of other messy, uncomfortable things.
I read to escape the reality for just a while.
I want to see things tied up into a tight little bow, all loose ends cleared up, everyone living happily ever after.
I want the fantasy of good things happening to good people and the bad guys get what they deserve.
I want someone who struggles with life circumstances rising above, developing a good circle of friends who support her when her life goes to shit and she eventually overcomes that last horrible thing.
What I don’t want… is to have the main character die. I don’t want the story to reflect real life. I don’t want a child to grow up without a mother. A father to grieve the loss of his life partner, friends to try to figure out how to adjust to the huge hole in their circle.
And I don’t want to read this just before I go to bed and have to try to manage the grief that overwhelms me.
I don’t want to have to try to explain to the man who loves me how a book that I read threw me in a tailspin of grief.
I read to escape. Last night I didn’t expect to escape into a piece of my own life.
It’s almost two years since he died.
In that time… I’ve never heard someone refer to me as a widow.
Tonight… was the first time.
Mark’s brother was talking to a friend and he let him know that he was at his brother’s wife’s, his brother’s widow’s house.
He called me his brother’s widow.
Yeah, I get it. I’m a widow.
I’ve just never heard anyone refer to me as a widow before.
I’ve called myself a widow.
I’ve called others widows.
But never heard someone else refer to me as a widow.
It’s like a sucker punch to the stomach.
Making it real again.
I get it – it never stops being real. But I can segregate that part of my mind – the part that knows he’s dead and never coming back and I’m his widow.
And tonight, it was made real again.
I am Mark’s widow.
I am not his wife any longer. I’ll never be his wife again.
I am his widow.
The painful, twisty, barely breathing, throat hurts, snotty, tears running down my face kind of sobbing.
The pain that twists my insides and leaves me gasping for breath.
The pain that doubles me over and leaves me curled up in a little ball.
The sadness that overflows and leaves me unable to do anything but cry.
The stupid thing is that it was good news that triggered it.
My brother-in-law and nephew are thinking about coming up here this weekend.
Seeing us for the first time in a year and a half.
And about 1/2 hour after the conversation… the tears started. And kept going. And wouldn’t stop.
And now I have a headache.
I’m grateful that I’m alone right now… it’s a guilty pleasure to be able to cry and just let go and not worry about how someone else will feel about my sadness. Just be sad. Just grieve.
I don’t do that very often. Too often I’m either holding it in because I don’t want to upset the others around me or I’m not able to let it go because I’ve held it in so long…
I miss him. I miss him so very much.
How do I help my son become a man?
How do I help him move through the grief, feel the feelings, acknowledge them and move forward?
We sat in our van today, talking about Dad and how he feels.
His sadness about his Dad’s death.
His lack of tears.
His anger at me for checking out that first year.
His anger at the hospital – thinking they didn’t do enough to make him better.
He is confused – and sad – and hurting – and angry.
And he’s very much like me – he stuffs it in a tiny little box until it comes out in some form of explosion.
We’re going to see a grief counsellor next week – hopefully she’ll be able to help him.
If that doesn’t work – we have a name and number for a younger gentleman who works with teenagers. I’ll see how that works for him.
I want very much for him to not grow up angry and bitter – he’s got a shell around him – I think it’s still fragile enough that I can help him learn to keep it protecting only those parts that need to be protected – instead of walling himself off entirely.
He’s almost 14 – becoming a man, slowly. Trying to see where the world takes him and where he fits in – and the man who was supposed to show him that is gone…
Sometimes I just need a good cry.
I don’t realize it until someone says something that triggers something and suddenly I’m vomiting feelings I didn’t know I had suppressed all over them.
It happened tonight.
And I ended up crying… snotty nose… tears running down my face… and a reminder of how much he loved me.
He loved me, he loved his kids enough to give us our lives back.
I’m grateful for the 14 years we had together. For the amazingly awesome wonderfully perfect last night we had together. For the burst of sunlight as he left his body to carry on his path. For the lessons he taught me. For loving him so much that the grief overwhelms me.
I just needed a good cry tonight.
How can I not see the love in those eyes?