What do I do with this 4-year mark?
This Friday will be 4 years since I leaned over and gently kissed the lips of my dead husband, after watching him suffocate.
After he died, I bathed him, with the aid of our 2 girls. Then we dressed him in his street clothes. I didn’t want his body going into the body bag by itself and I remembered that I had 2 very nice blankets in my car, so I sent the girls for them. We wrapped his body in those blankets and stitched them together with colorful twine. I remember gazing at his face for the last time right before I pulled the blanket over it.
Before they came into the room to take him away, I stepped outside to speak to them and tell them a little bit of who this man was, and that I was certain that they would handle his body with great respect.
I helped lift his body onto the gurney after they zipped him into the body bag.
A week later we went to witness his cremation and I opened the cardboard box in which his body reposed, and I covered him with colorful flowers.
And then I pressed the switch to open the doors of the crematorium so that his body could slide in. I watched the door close. And walked away a widow.
It’s Monday night. After a long holiday weekend, and a single day of work, I’m off for a week. Sarah and I are traveling to Texas tomorrow, to meet with her friends and family and celebrate the memory of Drew, as they’ve done yearly since his death.
The loose ends are tied up at work. Our bags are packed and we’re into the impatient “waiting game” that comes before any longer trip getting started. I wish we could just leave right now. Visions of the beach, and lounging beside the pool seem like they’ll take forever to become reality.
Aaaaaand my chest is tight. I’m uncomfortably nervous and anxious. Something just feels...well…”off”.
I think grief is an even trickier thing as time goes on. It becomes more infused with your new life and sometimes it’s hard to even know when struggles are related to your grief or to other things. I’ll be honest, I think I’m still holding on to some resentment that this other life I wanted to have will never happen. Even if 99% of me wants everything I have in this new life. Even if I had to choose between these two lives, I truly could not, there will always be that part of me that just wants to know how the other story was going to play out.
I know Mike has this feeling too. We both wish that we could see how those stories would have played out with our first person. Lately, I’ve started to wonder if maybe I’m feeling more resentment over that unfinished story than I knew.
I think it’s part of the root of my struggle to adjust since moving to Ohio. I will never get to know what my wedding with Drew would have been like. Or if we would have had children. Or where we would have moved to for his flying jobs. I think moving and beginning a life somewhere so new and different with Mike has unknowingly made me even resent that I never got to move with Drew and do all of this.