I know. This blog is later than usual. Well, I got up, later than usual. Fridays are my days off and yesterday, I was up until midnight doing some paperwork, Peter related of course. So, I slept in this morning. I think I’m a natural night owl anyway. I think my body adjusted when it had to – kids, jobs, whatever. It still does. But when I don’t have to, it’s like my body dances in the freedom of the night. This is a change I’m learning to go with, letting my body do its thing. A lot has changed in me since Peter died, and I am going with it.
Of course, the major change is the missing half of me Peter’s death ripped away. These past eight weeks, I’ve been walking around life half-assed, half everything. My humor that caused Peter to smile his crooked smile, sometimes even laugh, is dimmed. My need to share everything in my life with him has been held down. I mean, I still ‘tell’ him, but I don’t get a response which sometimes, makes me feel ridiculous. My relief in sharing life’s load, and all that means, is so done. It’s all me and that sucks. And of course, there are the finances. Those are no longer our’s rather mine and it is completely, and utterly overwhelming. It just is. It’s like being in a foreign country, on my own, without speaking the language, knowing its culture and unaware of my surroundings. I’m getting by in the finance department, even learning, but as Rudolph said, “it’s not very comfortable”.
Then there are the everyday changes that are neither good nor bad, just there. Like, I don’t eat fruits and vegetables as much as I should. Okay, maybe that is bad. They are good for me. Yet, I only eat now when I’m hungry and when I am, especially when I am pushed to the hangry stage – hunger and angry – vegetables and fruit are not what I want to fill me up. My diet now is cheese, ice cream and hummus related. Oh sure, I’ll have fish and chicken here and there – I even at lamb the other day – but mostly I grab what is fast and convenient…when I grab anything. You’d think I’d be a stick by now, but no. My metabolism laughs at such thought.
There’s the house. I actually keep a clean house. I’m like manic about it at times. I guess since I only live in three rooms, it’s not too hard to maintain. And let me say, by clean I mean by my standards. Not by other’s I am sure. Not pristine, just uncluttered and looking good. I’ve never been any type of June Cleaver. Not my thing. The second apartment I lived in on my own, back in the day, had a huge closet. It was almost like a third bedroom with no windows. I was dating Peter at the time, and whenever he came over, I would throw everything laying around in it. Everything. He opened it once and I swear I heard the Benny Hill theme song as everything came pouring out of it. My point is, Peter knew of my housekeeping skills, or lack thereof, and still married me. He must have really loved me. How ironic now that he is gone, I keep a better house.
There’s my social life. I go out a lot more now with friends. I’m sure it has to do with my need not to be in my house all the time, and their’s to comfort me. Whatever the reason, I do find myself more often going out for dinner, for tea, and for conversation. Peter liked his alone time and I gave it to him knowing we’d come together eventually during the day or night. I tried to keep my nights open for our togetherness. That’s not happening now. There’s no Peter for me to get together with and God does that hurt. There are times when it hurts so much, I back out of commitments to be alone in my misery. Most times, I try. Sometimes, the pain is too much so I go home early. But then there are times, like last night’s three-hour dinner where it feels okay. Yeah, I am home less often now than when Peter was alive.
There are decisions I made recently and may make in the future, without Peter in mind. I don’t have to anymore, now do I? Okay, that truth just kicked me right in the gut. Sigh. But it is the truth, as painful and sad and lonely as it makes me, it is the truth. Peter is not part of my decision process anymore. So, I designed my living room into something too modern for Peter’s traditional taste but has always been mine. I quit my job to pursue writing full-time, a decision Peter wouldn’t have supported for various reasons, but mainly he was a realist. And really, writing doesn’t make money. Mine will of course…I type with sarcasm. I can think about renting in the city, an idea Peter abhorred and never would do when he was alive. I can think about maybe looking at Saugatuck, MI as well to rent, a place that didn’t hold the same appeal to Peter. And my list goes on and on to smaller things. My point is, it’s all different now – how I live, my decisions and future choices. All different.
Now I know some of these changes and decisions may not either be the best for me – cough, cough lack of fruit and vegetables – and they may bite me in my widowed ass. I know some are based on emotion rather than logic, and I’ve always been the emotion to Peter’s logic. And I know, I may fail. I also know, these changes and decisions may be the best for me now and the now is all I’m looking at. I am not a future-forward thinker anymore. That was killed in my once-daydreaming self when Peter was killed. Also, if I get bites on my widowed ass, that’s okay. As long as I can sit and stand and move, that’s okay. And if my emotions are taking over right now, at least I’m being authentic. In all of this, I wish to remain real because it’s who I am.
I have read and heard through other widowed women, once a spouse dies, what emerges will be different and new. Widows are never the same again. Sometimes that means losing people in your life and gaining others. Sometimes that means making choices, poor or good, and ones not everyone will understand or agree with. I already feel different from what I was eight weeks ago. I already had to defend a choice. Friends have already dropped out of my life too uncomfortable to know what to do. I’ve already started my metamorphosis and I’m only in the beginning stages. I don’t know what I am yet or who I will become, but I will be and come someone different. Not better. Not worse. Different.
Last night, I stayed up until midnight and got out of bed at nine. It was different from what I did before and maybe what I’ll do next. Yet, it was a choice, one of many that will morph me into the whole person I am supposed to be when I learn to live with all this sadness, this despair, this loneliness Peter’s absence has handed me. It will be a long, painful road, one that I have just stepped on, but I will be patient. Emergence takes a long time and cannot be rushed.