I’ve been very open and honest about getting married again (Living Again Doesn’t Mean Forgetting). It’s been twenty-eight days since the big occasion and I must say I never knew I could feel like this at my age. Our friends have dubbed us “adorkable”, and that’s pretty accurate!
But the grief spiral still comes back to bite me in the tush, and usually at the most inopportune times. For example, the day of our wedding I’m standing at the altar about to say my vows, looking into his eyes and thinking how very right it all is, and suddenly it occurs to me that I’m standing exactly where the casket was for visitation, and suddenly I see his face as he’s lying there. (Insert Twilight Zone theme) I shook it off, but that was definitely unexpected!
Skip ahead four weeks, and last night he was preparing for a medical procedure this morning and chose to sleep in the other room so that I could get some sleep. Thinking nothing of it, I went to bed, only to dream of the night before the four day drama started with my late husband, and how if he hadn’t slept downstairs, maybe I would have noticed his breathing and maybe…. (The road of what-ifs can be a dangerous trek.) Boom! I was out of bed checking on him and thankfully, he knew instantly what was going through my mind. This morning, his procedure was in the same building where my late husband used to work. I had braced myself for that, but just the sight of him lying on the gurney and I became a bundle of nerves and fears. Outwardly, I held it together. Inside, I was a complete wreck.
As my good friend told me, “Big change can trigger a lot of things.” Definitely true.
Grief doesn’t go away when you choose to continue living. This week my new husband and I are going to an event that would have meant a lot to my late husband, the retirement of someone he not only worked with, but who was in our wedding. It touches my heart that friends I met through him still keep in touch and invite me to events and that they include my now husband. Still, it will be difficult. There will always be that sense that he should be here. Worlds are colliding in my brain and in my heart. Deep down I know that, wherever he is, he’s happy for me. We had the talk, and I know he wished I’d find someone and keep living, as I wished the same for him. Still, when those worlds collide, it’s a strange dichotomy.
I asked him today how in the world he could love me, a widow with a son, with all this baggage. His reply? “Consider me your personal bellhop.” Yep, he’s a keeper!