I haven’t been myself for the past month. You may be thinking, “well Kerry, you’re husband died not that long ago” and perhaps that is it. But it’s different.
For the first couple of months of widowhood, I was in survival mode. I was in a fog and just going through the motions of my routine. I had spent 5 months sitting in an ICU and I was getting re-acclimated to life outside. I wasn’t working as Bryon spent a large part of his illness at the hospital where I had worked and I could not go back. I trained for a half marathon and binge watched the Gilmore Girls. The holidays came and went. It was hard to celebrate but I tried my best to go through with the festivities for my daughter’s sake.
The next quarter was when the fog started to lift and reality started to set in. I needed income and health insurance so I got a new job. As my life started to stabilize and the amount of people around started to thin out, the reality of Bryon’s absence started to hit.
The third quarter was actually a sweet spot. I was starting to get used to my new life and start getting used to Bryon being gone. My daughter and I traveled to Las Vegas, Ann Arbor, Michigan and Philadelphia. I was starting to get used to Bryon being gone and I was starting to get used to my new life. I was actually starting to look forward to getting to know who I was as an individual.
But now in the last quarter of my first year of widowhood, I just feel like I am existing. I am no longer in thick fog but I know that I am still in active grieving. Grief is exhausting. I feel drained most of the time. And I feel like it’s time to tackle all the tasks that I kept putting off because they were painful. Those tasks aren’t going away. But I can’t seem to bring myself to call Verizon to shut of his phone. I don’t call his cell phone to hear the greeting like Hilary Swank’s character does P.S. I Love You. But his voicemail greeting is there. To shut off his phone and know that if anyone calls it, they are going to get a “this number has been disconnected” message just seems to final. Like the proverbial nail in the coffin.
All around me I see all the things that I am missing. Happy couples. Complete families. I am no longer a wife. I am a widow. I was called “Mrs. McKim” the other day and it took me by surprise. I was sad that it took me by surprise. It means my life with Bryon is slipping away. As time passes, I feel less like the wife I was and more like a widow. I miss being a wife. I miss being part of a complete family. I miss being part of a couple. Finding out who I am now seems like a chore, not something I am excited about. I want my old life back.
The years stretch out in front of me, long and lonely. They say it gets easier with time. But until that time comes, it just feels like I am existing.