Sunday will be 2 years since Mike died. I keep thinking that I am getting it wrong. It can’t possibly be 2 years already. I feel like I just saw him. But then I feel like I haven’t seen him in an eternity. The whole while I still can’t believe I’ll never see him again. I see his picture and I think, “how can I never see him again; that doesn’t make sense; that can’t be right.” It feels surreal. Yet, May 20 marks 2 years since he died.
What to do on the 2 year mark has been on my mind a lot. I don’t really want to make a day of anything or do anything special at all. I just want it to be a regular day that I go about my life and try to do things that make me happy, as I usually do. Maybe go to the gym, go for a hike or a bike ride. I might do something extra nice for myself but that’s about it. That’s what I’d like to do. I know that may come across in a variety of ways. Maybe it seems that I’m insensitive, in denial, like I don’t care, or even that I’ve “moved on.” That’s the reason why I keep contemplating what to do on the 2 year mark - I don’t want to seem like I’m cold or “over it”. That’s not it at all.
To me, it’s another day without Mike. It is my regular. I miss him everyday. As one of my good widow friends says, “he’s not anymore gone on that day.” It’s a day I think about him and miss him but so was the day before and so will be the day after. Maybe if I didn’t think about him all the time it would make sense to me to set aside a day to think about him or even a day to think about the day he died. But that’s not the way my grief works. My mind will involuntarily retrieve every little detail of May 20, 2016 and the emotions that go with it as if it was happening right then whenever it feels like it. I feel like I am there again. I can feel my gasps for air and my heart beating throughout my whole body. I can feel my weakness as I lay on the floor. I remember the phone calls. The morgue. I can see people’s faces and hear their voices. Everything. It’s imprinted in my mind. It is horrible torture. I can’t remember anything else in my life in so much precise detail as I can that day. So why would I set aside time to do that to myself? It’ll still be there to ruin me for another day.
I don’t want to force myself to have a “special” moment or put on a show for some sort of good widow image. I could easily set myself up to do that but I don’t think I need to torture myself that way. I have enough bad days on their own. If Mike is watching over me in any way then I don’t think he’d want me plan the day in a way I don’t want either. He’d understand that I miss him all the time since he would have watched me struggle on all the other “normal” days.
May 20 is a day he never knew. It has no good memories. I don’t want to participate in it. I chose to celebrate his birthday and happy memories and that’s what I did and continue to do. Maybe that makes me a bad widow. Maybe you disagree with my choices or judge me. But maybe you don’t. Maybe I’m not such a bad widow either. Maybe I’m just a person figuring out another day without him. Like I’ve done everyday for the last 2 years, like I’ll do on May 20 and continue to do on the days beyond that.