Yesterday, I went with a friend to pick you up from the funeral home. I didn't know how I was going to react, so I figured I should bring reinforcement. As we drove to the funeral home, we also passed the hospital you died in and every time I drive pass that hospital on the freeway, I look at it with a kind of pain and sadness that no words can described. It's a constant reminder of the worst day of my life - one that completely altered my entire existence. An existence that I can barely fathom or accept. I will never look at the hospital the same way again.
As we are driving, I tell our friend that I know I have a great support network and I'm lucky to have such amazing family and friends who are here for me during this tragic event, but I also realize that nobody knows what i'm going through. Nobody knows what to say or do, or how to handle me. I mean, I barely know how to handle myself or what support I need - how can I expect anyone else to understand if I can barely understand myself and it's my life; my story. And, who do I know that has lost their spouse, let alone a perfectly healthy spouse at the age of 39. I tell him that although I have an amazing support system, I also know that this is my journey and it's something that I have to do on my own and in my own time, as my voice cracks and i'm fighting back the tears that want to roll down my face.
As we are driving to the funeral home, we also pass by your favorite ice cream shop, the store where I always purchase my yarn from, and restaurants we like to patronize, and I say, "I'll never look at this street the same way again." I never knew that at the end of this street where we go to and hang out all the time was a funeral home. When we arrived at the funeral home, I tell the receptionist, "I'm here to pick-up my husband!" Like I was picking you up from school or something. When they took me to the room where you were waiting for me - I saw your box in the niche and I just started to cry. I could barely get through signing the paperwork to pick you up. I cried as I looked at you on the table and as I picked you up and walked out with you in my arms and I turned to our friend and say, "This is all he is now, a pile of ashes in a box. This is how we will all end up." I put you on my lap as we drove home while tears continue to roll down by face. I put you in the craft room temporarily (until the construction is done and you’ll go in your favorite spot in the living room), and I have to lay down for an afternoon nap since I was emotionally drained, but all I could do was fall in and out of sleep while doing deep meditative breaths to soothe me and try to relax as tears continue to roll down my face - yes not a lot of sleeping done. Overall, I thought it went pretty well, I mean it could have gone a lot worse in my mind. (And yes, everybody said you would prefer to me in your man cave and not my craft room, so I eventually moved you to the man cave - just in time for the Super Bowl on Sunday.)
A grieving widow who is trying to find meaning and purpose from her tragic event.