It’s a rainy Sunday- quieter than last night even. My parents have taken Audrey outside for a bit and I’m hoping they’re not caught in the rain. Even though I should take advantage of the time to “get stuff done,” I feel kind of immobilized by all of the thoughts racing around in my head. Just spent a little time reading a book I had requested at the library called “A Parent’s Guide to Raising Grieving Children.” It’s better than most, but still feels somewhat clinical/textbook-ish…even all of the quotes from widows or children who’ve lost a parent fall kind of flat. It lacks the richness of true grieving- but gives some practical advice.
I hate that my almost 2 year old has said the words, “Appa died,” numerous times now, and the other day when she recognized the song I was humming from the slideshow we played at the funeral- I said, “That’s right that was at Appa’s funeral.” I hadn’t really used this word yet with her and I’m not sure why I said it- but this is how I usually introduce new words- I just say them. She repeated after me, “Appa’s foo-nah-rul.” I hated that.
According to the book I’m probably still in the numb stage. Probably. I don’t think much about real life or the things I’ll have to face in the future- finances, getting a job, being a single parent- where we’ll live. I mostly live in the moment- still trying to process that you’re really, truly gone. Already I can see what other widows have told me is true- the first few weeks and even those that followed are now pretty much a complete blur. I don’t remember much. But I feel it all. I remember the phone call vividly…the exact intonation of the voice that told me- it has been recorded in my head.
I started looking through a binder I have of every email you sent me from the first one in May of 1999 to about six months afterwards. I can’t believe how different we both were- it strikes me now as so sad. We were innocent and child-like. You talked so much more about God. Maybe it wasn’t real and maybe where we wound up after eleven years was more genuine and spiritually even more mature- but it still made me so sad. It is another loss. The book says when your spouse dies, you’ll enter a period of deep self-evaluation. The past is open to reinterpretation and there’s no one to check what you remember. This is true. I wonder if I can reclaim some of what we lost- that innocence- but then I remember I’m a widow and I won’t ever be innocent again.