Sunday, August 24, 2014

Thoughts of a widower

It's the middle of the night and I can't sleep, so I thought I'd blog a little, something I've not been doing enough of the last year or so.

And I thought I'd write a little here about being a widower, as it's been more than a few months since my wife died and a little more than two months since my dad died. I have tried not to write too much about this because, frankly, I don't want to bore people and I don't necessarily feel the need for an out gushing of sympathy and pity, not that I mind condolences and the like.

I might ramble a little. These are just thoughts of mine that have come up, some that might seem quite weird.

First of all, it still doesn't feel like she's gone. It feels like she is away at the hospital, and I am still waiting for her to come walking through the door, or for her to call me to come and pick her up. This feeling is not as intense as it once was, and it doesn't take up my entire day, but I still sense it every day.

Nights are still the hardest. Once the sun goes down, it still seems like an empty house. Our pet rabbit, Silky, passed away a few weeks ago, and that has been one more presence gone from the house. It's just me and the beagle, Lily, and while this isn't a big place, sometimes it feels far too big.

I still have most of my wife's stuff to go through. I've given away or donated quite a few things, but I'm hanging on to a lot of stuff that is either supposed to be picked up by someone at some point, or I'll be taking it to friends and family who live out of state whenever I get the chance to visit. I was supposed to have a yard sale, with the proceeds going to a local cancer organization, but it has either rained or I have had other plans for the last month.

I don't cry nearly as much as I did a couple of months ago, but sometimes I do. I'll hear a certain song, or I'll see a picture of Kelly, my wife, and often enough that will get me to weeping again.

My emotions with my dad has been different. I've hardly cried for him, though I have missed him tremendously at times, and a couple of times I've caught myself thinking, "I should call dad." Maybe I've not cried as much because he was older, had lived his life, or maybe it's because I've been in shock or numb from Kelly's death. Or it could even be the fact my father and I grew apart in the last five or so years of his life, which is an odd thing because for most of my life he and I were quite close. He had changed during the last decade, definitely the last half decade; maybe that was age catching up to him, or possibly it was his OCD or even the cancer. Either way, it saddens me that we were not as close, and I have not been happy with the fact I was not there with him when he passed ... but such is life.

My feelings about lengths of time have flipped. I used to look forward and think, "Man, I've got 20 or 30, maybe even 40 years left to live, and that doesn't seem like nearly enough." Now I look at all that time and think, "God, 20 years sounds like an awful long time." I guess living my life without Kelly makes me look at things that way.

I have unusual thoughts tied to Kelly all the time.

I'll be emptying a jar of mayonnaise and think, "She was still alive when we bought this."

Or I'll go to the store and remember, "I don't have to buy diet Dr. Pepper any longer."

Or I'll use a kitchen utensil and think, "She was the last person who used this before now."

Or I'll give away her laptop mini-desk she used in bed, my heart nearly breaking at doing so, but all the while realizing I'll have no use for the thing.

I can't watch movies she enjoyed, or movies she wanted to see but hadn't had the chance. I've tried. 20 minutes is about the most I can take. I don't start crying or anything, but there's just this growing feeling of, "What's the point?" Experiencing the movies with her was the point, at least for me, and now that's gone.

Also, I'll think about how things have changed since she was gone.

She had always wanted a smart phone, but we had never gotten around to getting one. Then my dad passed away and left me a smart phone. Figures, doesn't it?

She had wanted our vehicle paid off, and guess what? The Explorer got paid off within weeks of her passing.

She had wanted Lily, our beagle, to have surgery for a tumor. Lily had the surgery a week after Kelly left us.

Things she didn't get to see, little hopes she had, dreams. All gone.

And at times I feel as if I have died myself, that I'm cursed in some purgatory that allows part of me to live on and see what life would be without her, and even without myself to some extent.

I've also found that it's not so easy going back to former modes of life. For instance, because I work from home now, I have no strong ties to where I live. I can move just about anywhere I want. However, I have told myself I will not make any drastic life decisions for at least two years, and I'm sticking with that. But what I'm finding as I've looked back at favorite places I've lived, and as I've considered locations near where friends live, that it simply would no longer be the same. Yes, some of it is because Kelly is not with me, but it's also that things have changed, people have moved, places aren't the same as they used to be, etc. All of this is fine, it's all quite natural, but the notion of change is unsettling to me at the moment, probably because I've faced so much of it during the last few months.

Perhaps I'll feel differently at some point.

One last thing: It's easier for me to remember the good times than the bad, but I tell you, I would take the worst knock-down, drag-out fight Kelly and I ever had just to see her again.

Anyway, I'm sure there are things I've forgotten, but for now, I'll sign off. Hope I didn't depress anyone.


Charles Gramlich said...

Evening has almost always been a melancholy time for me anyway. And when Lana is gone it is especially so. The house does feel so empty.

Jason M Waltz said...

Not depressing Ty - honest and touching. Thank you for sharing.