**BIG SIGH** I realized as I was at the hair salon today that you’ve actually died 83 days ago and not 76! It was only when the hair stylist said it’s almost 90 days since you passed that it occurred to me, oh crap?! How can it already be almost 90 days since you passed, if yesterday I only counted 76 days!! This is what I call widow’s brain! Okay, fine, I couldn’t do simple arithmetic even when you were alive but there’s been a lot of other things that I can barely remember to do or need to put a lot of thought into before doing it. After you passed, it was a complete haze for me. It was so foggy, I couldn’t see anything around me. I couldn’t even remember if I ate, brushed my teeth, washed my face, or took a shower. Even simple things took a long time for me to do. Things that would normally take me 5-10 minutes before was taking more like 15-20 minutes now. When I started taking care of the babies again on my own, I had to keep a notepad with check marks to remember whether I gave Sasha her drops or not. I couldn’t remember simple things like Thursday is trash day and whether I fed the dogs or not (as you know, the cats never miss a meal, they will remind me when it’s feeding time but not the dogs). When I was getting the new home and auto insurance, I couldn’t even remember that the lady was supposed to send me an application to sign until I got an email from the mortgage company requesting a copy of the new homeowner’s insurance. But when I followed up with the insurance lady, she was waiting for me to send her additional information before she could complete the application. I even wrote checks with two different amounts on the same check. I would write one amount in numbers in the box but write out a completely different amount on the line to write it out in words. I even had a check get returned that I deposited because I forgot to endorse it (only an insurance company would return a check because it wasn’t endorsed!!) It’s a good thing all our bills are on auto-pay!! I might have some problems paying bills on time and correctly otherwise. And you know me, I’m always on top of this stuff, but I was so absent-minded, I would probably forget my head if it wasn’t screwed on. Even when I started working again, I was afraid I would forget to do certain things, so I started printing out emails and taking copious notes on all the actions I needed to complete. I couldn’t rely on my mind anymore--it was preoccupied and absent.
Anyways babe, I cut my hair! I would usually come home from the hair salon and wait to see if you notice I cut my hair. By the end of the day, I would say, “Do you like my new haircut?!” And you would say, “You cut your hair?!” And I would give you my death stare and say, “I chopped off 12” of my hair today, babe!” And you would say, “Oh, you did?! I didn’t even notice!” Yup, that’s right, you never notice that I cut my hair, even when it’s 12” shorter!! Husbands?! Go figure!! Anyways, you know how I always chop off my hair every couple of years to donate to Locks of Love. I never told you this, but the first time I chopped off my hair and donated it to Locks of Love was when we broke up for that year--probably after I finished binge watching Six Feet Under. That break-up was hard for me, it was probably the worst break-up I’ve ever had, so it took me awhile to recover from it. When I finally found the strength and courage to get on with life, I felt like I needed a big change to symbolize this decision, so I decided to chop off my hair. I think I read somewhere when a woman makes a drastic change to her hair, it symbolizes that she is about to make some big decisions or changes in her life. So, I figure I give it a try. After I chopped off my hair, I felt so liberated and free, and when I donated the hair to Locks of Love, it felt so empowering. So, I decided to make it part of my routine every few years to serve as a reminder that when life gives me lemons, I can throw it back and ask for a margarita instead!
P.S. I’ve been thinking a lot lately that I might be ready to take off my wedding ring soon. Not because I’m ready to say goodbye to you forever or that I’m ready to start dating or anything like that. I just feel like wearing the wedding ring is a lie. I’m lying to the world that I’m happily married and my husband is still alive. Like how I had to tell my hairstylist today that you died when he asked, “Do you guys want kids?!” I only see him one or twice a year, so I didn’t think it was necessary to tell him, “Oh BTW, my husband died.” But when we started chit chatting and one of his client’s daughter (elementary school age) comes to sweep up hair for a few bucks, he was telling me how great it was that she was willing to earn her own money at such a young age. Then he asked, “Do you guys want kids?!” He knows we don’t have kids, so I thought to myself, I can pretend you were still alive and just say, “No, we don’t want kids,” or I could be honest and say, “Actually, my husband died about three months ago, but we didn’t want kids.” Let’s just say, it was an awkward hair cutting session after that. And you know me, I’m a terrible liar--it contradicts with my entire being. I’m an open book; you get what you see. So, I prefer to be open and honest about who I am. I can never pretend to be anybody that I am not. And right now, I’m not someone who has a husband anymore. I’m a widow and I have to start owning it.
A grieving widow who is trying to find meaning and purpose from her tragic event.