Smell Ya Later

Note to readers:  this is a blog post that was in drafts from 2013. I didn’t post it then, I don’t know why.  I’m not sure where the deodorant went. But that smell. I miss it. 

I’ve finally got some time to go through and read the blogs I’ve been missing.  Gawd I’ve been missing them.  THIS daily prompt caught my eye and I needed to write…

I keep a couple of things at my bedside, on my vanity table.   One is the collection of dimes from the last 14 months.  The other is a half used men’s deodorant.

It was Mark’s.  I am blessed.  I have a video of him talking so I get to hear his voice.  I have pictures that remind me what he looks like.   I have in that same video, his laugh.  Oh how I miss his laugh.

But his smell.  That is elusive.  He had scent issues.  He couldn’t wear colognes.  He would occasionally – just for me – but he’d suffer for it later with headaches.

But his deodorant… He’d get out of the shower, put it  on and usually I’d get a hug or a kiss and I’d smell it on him.

If I open that half used deodorant, (and I won’t tell you how often, that’s between Mark and I) for a moment… For just a moment… I’m in his arms.  I can feel his presence behind me, beside me, near me.

For that moment, the world springs back into place and the pain is gone and the loss is gone and for that moment… The last 20 months have been erased and I’m back at that night just before he got sick, and my world makes sense.

And then, I put the cap back on the deodorant, the grief and the loss and the reality hits me again and the discombobulation of what my life is comes firmly back into my consciousness.

As I get closer to moving day, the deodorant comes out more often.  I’m saying goodbye to my life here and the grief is stronger and hits me harder and I while I’m so excited for the future, I’m terrified of losing the past entirely.

So I take myself back in time to when the word “widow’ didn’t apply to me, and there was a clear path in front of me.

The adventure ahead of me is exciting and full of promise…. but I can’t help but peek back through the door I’ve walked through to see what I’ve left behind….

I feel you

Not Ready

I struggled with a title for this one.

I’m on night shift, on the ALC ward, which means they’re sleeping.

I do my hourly rounds, make sure they’re all still breathing, but once my chores were done, there’s not much else to do.

So I watch Netflix.

I’ve been watching Timeless again. I want to re-watch the seasons before I watch the finale.

Tonight, for whatever reason, I put on Grey’s Anatomy.  I know what happens in Grey’s Anatomy. I’ve watched the entire series a few times. It makes me bawl every freaking time.

This time? This time I turned it off just after the opening scene.  The one where Derek and Meredith slept together? Where she kicked him out first thing? yeah, that one.

I turned it off because the promise of the (very fictional, I know) love they shared, the promise of the heartache they’d go through to finally find their happily ever after, only to get to the end where she has to say goodbye?  That was brought to my attention, and the immediate pain of loss hit me.

Yeah, Derek Shepherd is a fictional character.  Meredith Grey is a fictional widow.  But I am a real life widow and their story resonates. Her loss? It sucker punches me in ways no other fictional show has done.  Shonda Rhimes did SO MUCH right with that story line.

And so while checking charts, I put on some music. My Spotify playlist which includes some music from my kid. And THIS SONG comes on. (you need spotify to listen to it – here’s a YouTube link) Normally, I turn it off.

Apparently tonight I was a sucker for punishment. I let it play.

And I cried.

At work.

In the middle of the night.

Good thing I don’t have any co-workers nearby.  At least not near enough to see/question/empathize.

And I realized, regardless of the fact that I am almost 8 years out.  Regardless of the fact that I’ve remarried. Regardless of the fact that my life looks NOTHING like what it did….

I’m STILL not ready to say goodbye to a man who I love with all my heart. As soon as he comes to mind, the pain is hot, intense and immediate.

I can remember and smile at the good times. I can tell the stories without crying. I can tell the tale of his death without breaking down.

But it still fucking hurts. 7 years later. As if it just happened.

I’m not fucking ready to say goodbye.