Today is the six month anniversary of Trey’s death. Except it’s not an anniversary, because Anni- means Year. It drives me crazy when people talk about a one month or a two week anniversary. Is there a word for a month-versary? Honestly, I’m not in the mood to learn vocabulary today so I’m not going to look it up.
Six months ago today I left work, drove to my parents’ house to pick up the kids, arrived home and found my husband dead in the living room.
Six months ago today my life fractured.
I can still see the future we were going to have. I can still see us attending our kids’ graduation. I see us arguing over what Junior High they should attend. I see us at the third grade neon glow party. I see us watching the upcoming Justice League movie together. I can see it clearly in my mind.
It doesn’t matter how hard I look, however, I cannot make it real. That future is lost.
What did I do today?
Well, I went ahead and dropped the kids off with my folks like I usually do on Tuesdays. A client wanted to talk to me, and I was anticipating needing the time to work. I snuggled with them for too long and had to fight the urge to throw a conniption fit when they dawdled getting dressed. I let K wear his clothes from yesterday. I just couldn’t fight about it.
In other words, it was like every other Tuesday.
I dropped the kids off and rushed to my counseling appointment, for which I was 20 minutes late.
It was just a coincidence that I had an appointment today. But it was a happy coincidence. I only recently started seeing someone. I believe this was our third appointment. I still feel like I’m not sure how it helps to just talk to someone, but it does help so I’m doing it. I enjoy our sessions.
I felt . . . normal. I’ve felt normal for a while now. I get sad and I get lonely. I am sometimes shocked when the reality hits that this is permanent. Overall, however, I go about my daily routine and function as a human.
I am not a fan of the phrase “the new normal,” but I suppose it applies.
Today was no different. I felt normal, but that in itself felt odd.
I arrived home after my appointment to find a card in my mailbox. A real card, with a handwritten note. My best friend from high school, my maid of honor, knew this was coming up and she sent me a beautiful and supportive card. It was exactly what I needed, at exactly the right time. I sat on my kitchen floor and wept.
I don’t remember when I last cried about Trey. It feels like forever ago, but so does his death. It feels like forever ago and it also feels like it happened last week. Grief time is weird. If I had to guess, I’d say it’s been two or three weeks since I really cried. I needed it.
Then I realized I could not find my wallet and the next couple of hours were consumed with finding it. And with cleaning that gross sticky spot that I had not known was under my sofa until I accidentally stuck my hair in it while looking for my wallet.
I found my wallet and headed to the grocery store to buy supplies for our celebration of Trey’s life.
Kit Kats, M&Ms, Tootsie Rolls, Tootsie Pops, Hershey’s Kisses.
Yesterday I told the kids that today would be six months. K, who speaks like a small adult, said, “It doesn’t feel like that long. It feels almost like it was yesterday.”
I asked what they wanted to do to mark the day. We discussed going to the beach where we scattered his ashes, but that is a full day trip and none of us were up for it. None of us felt like making a big deal out of it. It’s already a big deal without us adding to the drama.
The kids’ idea? Buy a “mother lode” of candy.
Trey had quite the sweet tooth. I have always claimed to not have that much of a sweet tooth, but the truth is I drink my sweet in the form of sodas and in the form of coffee drinks that are essentially liquid cake. In any case, a couple of months ago it was brought to my attention that with Trey gone our house is devoid of candy. I did not intentionally cut candy out of our home. When I make a grocery list, I just don’t think about adding candy to it. Trey always did, though. “Pick up some Kit-Kats” he would say. Or, if he went to the store unsupervised, he’d come home with half a cart full of candy. So it makes sense to commemorate him with candy — although I suspect it was a bit of a ploy on the part of my kiddos.
No matter the true motivation, I obliged. Today I hit the store and filled a basket with candy. I also bought some flowers for the dining table, some tater tots for tomorrow’s casserole, and marshmallows because I have a huge box of rice krispies burning a hole in my pocket.
And I wept.
I cried in the car the whole way there.
Car crying was my favorite form of self expression in the first couple of months. I haven’t done that in a while. I sobbed the whole way to the store, sniffled my way through the aisles and hitched my breath during checkout. I’m sure I looked like some sort of sad housewife cliche. Here I am, an overweight white woman in sweat shorts and T-shirt, sticky stuff in my hair, purchasing candy and tater tots and flowers and Moscato. (I also bought a bottle of Moscato, of which I am currently partaking, as my own private six month tribute.)
I came home and proceeded to set up my new phone.
My phone broke a while back and my new one came in today. That feels particularly harsh of the universe. Trey worked in cellular/telecom since 2001. He handled all of this. I have never ever had to set up my own phone. It was more complicated than I expected. I had nobody to ask and nobody to help. Just me and a phone that somehow uses a different charger than every other device in my home and nobody to complain to about that. It was unreasonably heart breaking to handle this myself, but I did it. I got my new phone set up.
Then it was time to pick up the kids, and get back to the regular routine. I cooked dinner while they played tablets. They ate candy. We had dinner, watched 2 cartoons, brushed teeth, read a story and they went to bed. Now here I am, spilling my guts to the ether.
That is what happens in my life when I reach the six month anniversary of the day I stopped being a wife and became a widow.