When I was a little girl, I imagined a widow as a very old person with wrinkly face, body bent by time, and arthritic hands. In my mind, widows always wore layers of black, and clutched their black veils.
I never imagined it to be me.
A couple of days ago, it happened anyway.
Five-year-old me would have found 44 quite old, but still not old enough to fit her stereotype. 44-year-old me feels I'm decades too young for this. Relationships start and end, it happens all the time, but usually not like this.
Predictably, my feelings are a roller-coaster. Mike spent the last couple of months in the hospital, at hospice, and in a nursing home, and that makes it easier. I was already getting used to him not being here. I still expect him to show up at any moment, or send a text.
Whenever something share-worthy happens, my first instinct is still to snap a photo and send it to him. It will take a long time before that passes.
There is grief of course, and relief. No one should have to suffer pain like he did. He was sick for years, in pain for years.
From time to time I'm angry with him, for many different reasons, and that makes me feel guilty - you're not really supposed to be angry with people who are dead. I'm guessing all this is normal.
I'm spending the week hiding at Cat Depot. It's my favorite hiding spot, filled with friendly cats and people who act normal. I wasn't going to, but when people started texting me about getting Mike's things mere hours after he passed, I decided going to work was the perfect excuse not to have to deal with anyone.
Some people have shown up with lists of items they feel entitled to, because at some point in time Mike mentioned they could have this or that. Of course I'll share memories of him and stuff doesn't mean all that much to me, but maybe give me a couple of days to re-find my footing?
Also, I'm not sure I'm willing to give away the few things he had that are worth actual money when he left me with tens of thousands of dollars in bills. Saying how this expensive item has a great sentimental value to you doesn't give you any points when I'm selling everything I have - items I've had for decades and brought to America from Sweden - to try to catch up.
Oops, guess anger showed its ugly face again.
Mike's family have arranged a get together for Friday. After that, I intend to cuddle my pets. After that, not sure.
I guess I can do whatever I want - it will take some time getting used to that too.