Two weeks ago yesterday, my husband died in a motorcycle accident. As you can imagine, yesterday was not a good day. I went through the motions of waking up, making phone calls, doing some paperwork, staring at laundry baskets full of clean clothes waiting to be folded since Saturday, even getting out to run errands – small, close-to-the-house errands. My son came over in the afternoon for about three hours. We talked and shared a dinner of blueberry pancakes and bacon, neither foods I particularly like much but craved yesterday for some, unknown reason. And even though I kept busy – well, my version of busy lately – I was very aware of the day and what happened two weeks previously.
I pushed myself through conversation and dinner with my son and a phone call with my daughter. I held back most of my tears, not wanting to let them go until my own solitude. I have the most compassionate of kids – great huggers, too – but I wanted to mourn privately on this anniversary, which is odd since death is never between just two people. It has a ripple effect that never quite ends. Yet the pull to be alone to release my tears was greater yesterday than any other day in the past two weeks.
When my son left, I finally broke with hard, deep, gut-wrenching sobs, and I didn’t stop for over an hour. When it slowed, I hiccuped with more. I had what they call a ‘good cry’.
Good cries are oxymorons. It’s like saying I had a ‘bad laugh’. There’s nothing good about a cry. Oh, some people think a long, steely cry can make you feel better with the release. And yes, there have been times I have felt better, but really, during it, there’s nothing good going on. And eventually – and in my case, there will be many more eventually’s – I’ll cry again, perhaps not as hard, or maybe even harder.
Yesterday, at the hour which always brings me to my knees, I wept because, for the first time, I actually knew, maybe for the first time, Peter wasn’t on vacation or a business trip. or late getting home. Yesterday, like a fright you feel when a rollercoaster dips, I knew Peter was gone forever. He was dead.
In these past two weeks, I experienced great sadness. When it was too much, I sprinkled my thoughts with an unhealthy dose of he’ll be home soon. I pulled these thoughts out of reserve when I felt most depleted. But yesterday, the last hope of Peter coming home soon left me forever. I had nothing, NOTHING, to believe in anymore.
As I cried, echoes of “it’s not fair” cluttered my empty living room, one no longer shared with Peter. I clutched my belly in pain, trying to keep down the blueberry pancakes. I cried and screamed, and then did both some more. A friend messaged me an offer to go for a walk. I refused knowing a mess of person walking down a street would not serve the community well. Two neighbors dinged my cellphone letting me know they were thinking of me on this horrible anniversary. Another friend, one I don’t see often, sent an “I’m thinking of you tonight” text. And I talked, for over an hour, with one of my besties who did eventually get me to laugh. When I went to bed, I was exhausted from the ‘good cry’, and my sleep was fitful.
There was nothing ‘good’ about my cry last night. Mine were sobs of releasing any hope of his return or a life resuming together. They were tears of ‘why me?‘, of ‘I’m scared”, of ‘how can I keep on keeping on without him‘, of ‘I miss him’, and, of course, of ‘he’s never coming back‘. Last night, I cried because I finally faced the harshest of realities, the saddest of truths, the most difficult of never-coming-backs, and there was nothing good in any of that.