Every day is a new day without my wife. It's not what she did for me that matters, it's not being there that matters.
- One day at a time
- Every day I wake up, and the first thought is... "(sigh). Another day, without my wife". The most important person in my life, and best person I knew. It is basically one week ago. Or a bit over a month since she was fully her. I'd "prepared" for (known about) this possibility from before we married. And yet the void isn't any less empty, and I wasn't fully prepared.
- She thought I'd miss the daily stuff she did for me/us... cooking/cleaning/shopping/paying bills. That mattered to her.... but is all stuff I can adapt to pretty easily. I appreciated it, and told her. But actually, doing it fills my days with the mundane. I'm making lists, and knocking things out. I'm more productive in many ways than I was. I might not be "on top" of them all. But they'll get them done -- and it helps fill the emptiness.
- What I miss is her presence/company/smile/laugh/caring... someone to laugh/groan at my jokes, hold my hand when we watched bad TV that she liked, tell me about their day poorly (non-linear rambling about who did what, losing her place in the story, referring to people I don't know by pronoun and expecting me to get it), then get bored listening to me do the same back. Who did all these little chores, then trolled for appreciation (and got it). Or to gloat when I didn't do them as well. Just her being here.
- I'm reading/watching shows/videos/books on grief. Not to wallow in it -- but just the whole, immersive understanding. Learning/analyzing. A ton of them talk about things like the giant fog, or trying to accept it. The fiction about the stages. The incredible depression/despair. I don't have that. It's real, and it's forever. Life is crystal clear. I just need to keep going forward. Doing errands (many that she would have handled for us), as well as catching up on past mail, cleaning up little parts of her/us. Trying to plan out the loneliest party I'll have ever thrown, so that other people can grieve and remember a fraction of what I experienced with my wife and the loss, hopefully celebrate what a fantastic person she was and a life well lived (as a reminder of how big a loss it is). Yet I still feel like nobody but me knows how much bigger that loss is than they know. (Her Mom and family have a closer idea). And still, the person of honor will still be a no show.
- I'm getting more used to it. I cry less. Far less in public. I cried when I woke up, but not in writing most of this. Cried out? I have told the stories so many times, to so many people, that I am desensitized to most of them. I can wallow in the analytics of what happened or how, and not drowin in the emotions of what it all means. (I know what it means and have accepted it; now is just the slow process of moving on. One foot in front of the other). I learned my landmines and can tip-toe around them. I sometimes think, "do they think I'm callous?" that I can tell the story/jokes without the overt emotion? But that's what happens when you re-live your loss 20 times a day for a week (or 5). You become the mortician or foresnic specialist; immune to the smell or the gore, and just do your job. Thus I march onward, finding purpose in the mundane, trying to find happines in little moments, being with people, small jokes or memories, enjoying a meal, the company, or just in finishing tasks like sending a card/present for my ex-wife that she wanted sent. Maybe even getting more organized on things that she cared about, and trying to let some of her personality traits live on through me. Live in the moment, and the moment isn't that bad. The past was fantastic, and someday the future might be as well. One foot in front of the other; the march of time goes on.
- People tell me they worry about me, but I'm fine. Not happy. Not even depressed (in the clinical sense). Not putting on a facade or faking it; just slogging through. I lived most of my youth without the overt love/support of a parent (I got most of it by proxy from grandparents or friends Mom's who felt pity for me, but occasionally from my own parents, who did care but just didn't express it often/well). So I feel like I'm far more prepared for the absence of erotas (intimate love) than most. And I have great community, friends, and family that give me more philia and agape (brotherly love and freindship) than I had the first 26 years of my life. (And even that wasn't THAT bad, and I'm older, wiser (?) and more able to cope with those feelings). So even if it isn't the joy of having my life partner... for now, there's still some small joys in life, and it's still enough to avoid despair. Live in the moment, and there are people out there with a lot bigger burdens than a spoiled first-worlder, losing his wife after a fantastic life of mostly bliss.