You know that feeling when you walk into a store and see something your beloved late spouse would have liked and for a brief moment, you think, I should get that for him…and then you remember, he’s not here anymore.
I went into Costco this week to pick up a few things, and that happened…again. I saw a pair of shorts he would have loved. Honestly, I was so hurried on my errand - I feel maybe too busy these days, my grief had been taking a back seat to my new exploits in career, so it took me a bit by surprise.
Then again, not. It’s always there. You never know really when that moment will happen. So it did. The rest of that forage in that store, the rest of the day really, was spent with that cold dagger in my heart.
Then, everything I saw reminded me of him. Of what I used to buy for us when he was alive. What I would cook. How he would accompany me in the store, like a little kid, excited about something new he found.
What I was there to buy then seemed depressing. My entire foray into the store was depressing. He used to accompany me everywhere with great glee. Suddenly his missing presence haunted me.
I’m working so hard to build something for myself. In fact, my entire inspiration for my new career is Mike. My obsession with nutrition, given his inability to face his biggest demons. But that moment in the store? It destroyed me, yet again.
And I will be perfectly honest here. I spent way too much time being mad at him while he was alive. Mad that he wouldn’t or couldn’t get healthy. Mad that he snuck cheeseburgers behind my back. Mad that he always wanted to go out to eat instead of eat something healthy at home. I was just so…grumpy. I couldn’t help but remember how he would go around the store at Costco eating all the samples, and there was nothing I could do about it…
That day I was reminded of my anger and it hurt. Regret does not even come close to describing how I felt. I know, I know…I know I was not responsible for his health. He made his own choices. Should I have just thrown in the towel and said fine, eat whatever you want? Do whatever you want? Should I not have continued to try and save him? Maybe that it made me so angry at him all the time, I should have stopped. I should have just been happy to have him with me while I did. I should have just smiled and laughed with him more.
All too often we widowed people put our loved ones on pedestals. We forget the bad times because we miss them so much. But every so often, the hard times come into focus. And it really, really, hurts. I’m sorry Mike. I’m so sorry.
I love you.