Whether or not there is a belief in God or an afterlife, I would bet that many widowed people talk to their lost loves. The first few months after Mike died I remember that horrific, heart-clenching, shattering new reality that he was not there to talk to anymore. But as time went on I just started talking to him anyway. Sometimes I yelled at him for leaving me. Sometimes now it’s a short I miss you, Mike. I say that a lot. Out loud. Other times I find myself having a longer conversation.
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”.