Do you ever, among the legions of “to-dos” on the To Do List after his death, keep a few to-dos undone…just to let the reminders of his once vibrant, active life pick furiously at the smattering of wounds from your grief?
Do you ever keep his name on things, like the electric bill or your checking account or even order new address stickers with his name still listed before yours…so you still at least appear like you’re the Mrs. of someone?
Do you ever sleep on his side of the bed and then your side of the bed and then somewhere in the middle and then across again and then go through the same routine over and over again…never quite finding the sweet spot of where the hell you’re supposed to sleep in your own bed anymore?
Do you ever put on a blouse or dress and need help finishing up the zipping in the back…and then realize that it ain’t happening…and then put a jacket or sweater over the back to cover the fact that your arms are too short and you cannot finish the zipper alone…and have no one to help you?
Do you ever poke around in the electronic files your husband left behind on his computer and phone…making up scenarios in your head about what he was thinking, who he was thinking about, what secret thoughts or feelings he kept unspoken inside his heart and head during his final days…looking for clues within the strokes of his keys?
Do you ever go somewhere alone and glare at couples sitting together across from each other at a table…while looking at their phones the entire time?
Do you ever wake up with a hole in your stomach so large that you swear there is nothing left there anymore and then look down to see if you’re dreaming…that this isn’t real…and that he’s going to walk through the door again, pissed off about how no one (but him) knows how to drive?
Do you ever wear his socks, no matter how big they are? His shirts or sweatpants or ball caps?
Do you ever drink too much, eat too much, run too much, sleep too much, spend too much, seek too much, cry too much, sulk too much, seethe too much, cuss too much, write too much, feel too much, read too much, clean too much?
Do you ever watch his football team play in a game on a Sunday afternoon…even though you absolutely hate his football team…?
Do you ever have a snarky comment prepared just in case your girlfriends start complaining about their husbands’ selfishness or laziness or snoring or constant boob grabbing or that they fed the kids ice cream for dinner?
Do you ever deactivate your Facebook account from time to time because you’re so sick of seeing everyone’s perfectly manicured lives and marriages and relationships through your Facebook feed?
Do you ever completely stop watching TV programs that you used to watch together…leaving the season or series unfinished for you, too.
Do you ever imagine yourself a year from now, two years from now, five years from now…and where you’ll be and what you’ll be doing and who you’ll be with and how you’ll feel…and then realize that those years will not include him here on this earth?
Do you ever want to fast forward to holidays being over, birthdays being done, anniversaries coming and going within the lightning quick speed of one tired breath?
Do you ever yell at him while driving and ask him why he left you behind to live without him and with so. much. shit?
Do you ever run your fingers along the scribbled lines of his signature, his handwriting, his doodles on an old document and remember that once there was a pen that he held while touching these ink lines, too?
Do you ever look at your children and wonder how in the world they are ever going to explain the depths of their dad to their own children…grandchildren he will never know?
Do you ever want to shout at the people who knew him: “I KNOW HE’S DEAD! SAY HIS NAME! TELL ME YOUR STORIES ABOUT HIM! PLEASE!”
Do you ever look up in the sky and try to find him somewhere…just a sign…in the clouds, the sun, the moon, the stars, the endless blue?
Do you ever overly romanticize the relationship you had because you knew that no matter how challenging it could be at times…you both loved each other very much? And then curse yourself for all the precious time wasted over petty differences and mind-numbing arguments…over which quarterback was the greatest of all time and whether or not the two-party system in American politics was the best system and if oysters were disgusting and if cheerleading was really a sport?
Do you ever feel as if the world is circling around you, choking your breath, pulling at your skin, and making the emptiness somehow even emptier?
Yeah. Me Too.