Yesterday was IKEA. It wasn’t as emotional as I expected because of the sensory overload that is IKEA and because the project/planning side of myself kicked into high gear. I got a bunch of things for Audrey and also went around checking out some shelving for the books I need to unpack. But after an entire day there, once we headed to the warehouse, we realized none of the boxes would fit in my parent’s car. At least not with Audrey and I in there…so- we didn’t get any of it. I was really hoping to get the play kitchen for Audrey’s birthday but it was out of stock even though when I checked online it said in stock both before and after we went.
I thought of you, of course. I am always aware of that parallel life that runs right beside me now- the “would’ve life.” You would’ve been getting our food for lunch while I went to a table with Audrey. We would’ve shared two dishes between the three of us – you and I would’ve shared a drink. After we ate, you would’ve played with Audrey in the little play area by the cafeteria- we would’ve had a nice day together.
I sat in the Moses chair when we got to the desks/chairs section- your desk chair- just sat there for a couple of minutes feeling what you must have felt- that it was a comfortable chair- the first time you sat in it here. At moments like this when I stopped moving or looking at furniture for even sixty seconds- I felt a quiet horror. You have drowned. You are dead and buried. I am a widow. That is how it hits me- smack in the middle of people filling giant yellow or blue bags and shopping carts with stuff or writing down aisle and bins numbers with tiny pencils.
And while my parents and Audrey were in the cafeteria- I had to run back through the furniture maze to check on a couple more things- and then I thought of you. I spoke out loud. “I miss you. It’s not the same without you,” as I walked. And then I felt that thing I keep feeling lately- and it’s hard to tell if it’s just overwhelming grief- or something else that has to do with you. But I felt it – things in the store seemed to get dimmer and muted- and even though I felt warmer- my whole body got the chills.