Am I the only widow who sometimes wishes she could go back to the very beginning?
By beginning I don’t mean the beginning of my life, or the beginning of my time with The Hubs. I mean the beginning of my journey as a widow. Those awful dreadful days of notification and services.
This is something that shames me to say, but I feel like I need to get it out. Sometimes I see photos of services honoring a newly fallen hero, and I wish I could go back to those days.
It took me a long time to come to terms with that reaction and to figure out why I feel that way. Well, I still don’t think I have it completely figured out.
I think it’s a mixture of things. In those early days, the numbness helped me separate myself from everything. I was in shock and didn’t believe reality yet. I had gone into ‘business mode’ and was focused on taking care of arrangements and the necessary preparations. I was busy, and I had people around to help me and tell me what to do next. Now, ‘comfortably numb’ is gone for the most part and I have to face the reality of his absence.
Also, in those early days everything was so focused on HIM. He was in the forefront of everyone’s minds, everyone talked about him and wept for him and he was truly the sole topic of our lives. Now, it is still like that for me, but life has moved on. He is still there in everyone’s thoughts and heart, but not at all as public and vocal as in the beginning. Sometimes I want to shout his name and scream HE IS STILL IMPORTANT.
But even more than these things, in those early days his memory, his voice, his presence was still fresh. It had only been a short time since I heard his voice. His emails were still at the top of my inbox. Mail still arrived in his name. Although he had been deployed for over 6 months, his toiletries were in the bathroom an his truck was in the garage and I still FELT him. He was still an active member of life and still ‘existed’. But now…
Sometimes I wish I could go back to September 12, 2009. I wish I could feel the agony I felt when my doorbell rang, I wish I could throw up in the bathroom as commanders stood in my living room, I wish I could stare numbly as girlfriends packed my suitcase and hyperventilate as someone helped me off the bus to meet his body in Dover and silently weep cold tears as I picked out a casket and shake uncontrollably as a good friend held me up when the 21 gun salute fired and Taps played. I wish his last voice mail was still on my phone and I could actually save it before it deleted itself, and I wish the flowers he sent me the day before he died were still alive.
But if I could really wish, I would wish he were still here.
I’m rambling. But I wonder, am I the only widow who sometimes wishes she could go back to the early days? Is this weird, odd, morbid? Does it make me a ‘drama queen’? I feel guilty feeling it, I feel like I should be offering more to those who are in those early days, not selfishly thinking ‘I wish The Hubs were still in the headlines’. Sometimes I wonder if this makes me an awful person, and I wonder why I feel that way. I know I’m putting myself on the line admitting all of this, I just hope I’m not alone, hope it makes sense to someone.
For those who are struggling through those early days, I hope you are not offended by this outpouring of thoughts. I know you wish you were NOT in these moments, I remember feeling the exact same way, wishing they would just hurry up and be OVER. Your spouse is getting the recognition they DESERVE, and I would never EVER want to take that away from them and YOU. My heart is with you and I wish you peace and comfort.