And If You Did Know?

In Memory of Sharon Michele McAvoy Nichols .:. December 24, 1949 – October 10, 2005

November 6, 2005

28 Days

Filed under: goodbye — mark @ 9:11 am

Dear Sweetie,

Tomorrow it will be 28 days since you died. In this case 28 days is both a lifetime and an instant. I still expect you to appear from the next room, or to wake up in the night and find you reading in your favorite chair. But as I move through the daily chores (which are ALL mine now, thank you very much) I know that you aren’t coming back, that you are truly gone. The range of emotions I have as a result of this dichotomy is stunning in its diversity.

I get so mad sometimes. Little things set me off, like not being able to dice an onion finely like you did, or Taz licking my face. I yell and stomp, or pound on the desk until the white-heat part of my anger passes. I am mad at you for leaving me here to deal with all of this, for having to be alone again, but mostly for not having a place to feel safe anymore.

A bout of rage almost always leads to a good long cry. I picked up a really good book called Finding Your Way After Your Spouse Dies that is filled with two and three page essays on topics like “Ask for a Hug” or “Begin to Play (Again)”. One of the first ones I read was about “Creating Your Own Comfort Place.” In it the author, Marta Felber, made the suggestion that I use something of yours as a touchstone when I need comforting. Last night, after a failed attempt to fix dinner at home ended in diced onion all over the floor, I fell onto your side of the bed and cried and cried while holding one of your favorite dresses. The feel of the dress fabric in my hands and on my face was comforting, and I did reach some peace as a result of that venting.

While I do not feel alone, I am very lonely. Taz and Nekko are keeping tabs on me, Taz more than Nekko. However, Nekko is coming around again. Last night she spent some time on the bed with me while I watched television. I am learning to sit on the couch or chair and reach up behind me to rub her ears. (And you are right, that does make your arms hurt!) My friends, especially Laura, Ted, Pete, and Annie, are calling on me and sending me emails. Annie has family here in KC, so she and Dan, along with Katie, are coming here for Thanksgiving. They are going to stay with me and I have even been invited to her brother’s house for the day. Greg Lettow and Kristin have also invited me to join them for Thanksgiving Day.

The evenings and weekends are a very lonely time for me. I don’t feel like being around other people and yet I don’t like being by myself. I spend an hour or two here and then I have to run out to a store for something, even just to look, so I can be around other people. I know that in time I will start to develop new friendships, but for now I am very lonely.

I am scared. Scared of the future, scared of what happens next. For the first couple of weeks I felt cut off from the best parts of myself, the parts that were so intertwined with you. Being able to stand up and deliver the eulogy I wrote for you helped me a great deal. I reconnected with some of Pooh as a result. Finding my way through the weekly chores is helping as well. Having a semi-regular schedule for things takes some of the uncertainty out of my situation. I can’t look to far into the future yet, though. Getting to the end of the day seems to be my limit. Having a chore or errand for the upcoming weekend is helpful, but trying to think much beyond the next few days just leaves me paralyzed.

Oddly enough there is a feeling of peace at times. I know that you are still around, if only in essence form. There have been two or three instances where I am convinced you were here. The first week I was back at work there was a 4-day meeting. In one of the conference rooms the first day I looked up and saw you in an empty chair across the way. You were smiling at me and I felt very good for a moment. At your memorial service there was a moment when the pipes were playing that I felt every so lightly your touch on my cheek, and I have felt you moving around the apartment at least twice. I know that your aren’t in pain anymore, and that all the fears and demons you carried for so long can no longer attack you in the night. I am glad that you are at peace. I am even more grateful for the faith I have, otherwise I wouldn’t feel secure about where you were and what you were experiencing.

I lov eyou Michele. I always have and I always will. You are in my heart, and you touch my soul profoundly. My heart is filled with warm memories of the time we had together, and I know that with time and hard work, I will be able to touch those memories and feel good. For now I am letting myself express the fear, anger, sorrow, or whatever as it comes up.

I lov eyou
I lik eyou
I miss you
I believ in eyou
I am in lov with eyou

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