Sometimes, being incredibly, almost comically busy can be a blessing in disguise. Although it’s a short work week for us here in the US, with Thanksgiving being this Thursday, I arrived to an unexpectedly busy office yesterday morning. It was a madhouse for the entire day, and even as I drove home, I was receiving phone calls from co-workers, asking for assistance with their IT needs. I spent at least half an hour hunched over in our “office” after getting home, online, and on the phone.
I didn’t get lunch yesterday. I was unable to even break away for 5 minutes to grab a cup of coffee. I spent almost the entirety of the day away from my desk, with the fleeting moments that I was able to sit down on the phone.
Password resets, email problems, printer outages, accounting programs mysteriously losing information, our president forgetting his laptop at home, broken cell phones, misbehaving monitors, and a bevy of other issues all seemed to occur at once.
I have lived without him now for two years.
I am not entirely sure what to do with this. There is nothing that needs to be done - I know. There was no special fanfare that marked his two year death day. I observed the day subtly and quietly - on my own. Not surprisingly, no one gave me a medal for surviving two years of widowhood. There was no one dripping praise on me for "dutifully" being Mike's widow for 24 months. There was just his deadness looming over the day like it does every day.
Still, two years is a significant amount of time. I felt something, but I am not sure what. Marking year two was less significant to me than completing year one of widowhood. November 15, 2018 marked two years; and, next year it will be three, then the year after it will be four years, and then five years, then shortly after it will be a decade. I realize that the awfulness of this date will arrive every year for the rest of my life. And, really what does this mean? Does this date even matter in the big picture? It doesn't. It is not relevant. His death date is never at date I will "celebrate" because it was the worst day of my life.
Now, after two years, the feeling of Mike being absent, is more familiar than his presence. The life I am living is a wildly altered version of my former life. And, my new life does not fit right yet. Maybe it never will. It is uncomfortable.
I exist in the shadows of our former life and am I not content here. I am restless where I am. But, I do not know how to fix this. In suburbia, without a spouse, you do not fit in with the white picket fence crowd. I am forced to exist in an awkward type of limbo. As a middle aged widow, my heart beats out of time and my breath is laboured because I am completely exasperated by the lack lustre feeling inside me. I continually feel underwhelmed and overwhelmed at the same time. Something has to change...
What do I do... When the person I now love sits in pain?
A similar pain to my own, but still so different and all his own.
What do I do on the hard days when I see you crying your eyes out with an ocean of feeling inside you? Wishing that I could somehow dive inside of it and feel it for you.
Knowing that even that wouldn’t help you.
What do I do in those moments, when suddenly, I haven’t a clue what to say or do?