Somehow having Audrey in preschool three mornings a week has made the days and especially the afternoons- even longer. She gave up napping a long, long time ago. Today I realize that what’s missing is those little points of contact and interruptions throughout the day from you. There’s not even the hope or anticipation of the phone ringing- “hey…” is all we would need to say. There are no emails that say “Just saying hi.” There is no anticipation of a key in the door, no relief, no end. It’s dreadful. Even though I am safe, in an apartment with an adorable three-year old- it is dreadful.
A friend commented a while back after she had just potty trained her daughter but Audrey wasn’t potty-trained yet- how quickly you forget entirely that you were wiping poop off their buts two or three times a day every day just a week or so before. It’s a crap analogy, but this is how it is now. I find it hard to believe that you, a man, lived here with me. That Audrey ran to your open arms just like in television and movies when you came in the door. That you took showers and brushed your teeth next to me each night.
Well, except for the teeth brushing. This I do feel and believe unfortunately every single night as I stand there brushing my teeth. We usually brushed our teeth together. We’d both be looking in the mirror- sometimes brushing really fast to be funny. Each night, ghost-dan brushes his teeth beside me. I wish he’d go away actually. I just want to brush my teeth and go to bed for God’s sake.
I keep thinking of the manner of your death, and how this is real and happened to me. How others must assume when they meet me that I’m “used to it,” the whole idea. I am not and never will be, I accept. I keep thinking- if you had died in a car accident-something I feared- would this have been “easier?” Why did you have to be alone like that? When they found you, were your eyes open or closed- is always in the back of my mind. What happened to you!
I also think a lot about the particular loss of spouse versus other kinds of loss. Other losses are painful- I already anticipate and dread the loss of my parents. The loss of a child is heinous and brutal. But all of these familial losses are those bound by blood. You are born into your family. Your child incubates in your womb. But only the spouse- is at one point in your life- alive, living somewhere else- maybe another country even- a total stranger for many years- even decades.
The loss is malicious and spiteful because only a spouse, before he can be lost, is first-