I was walking through the airport last Sunday and I thought I saw Bryan walking toward me. A tall, bearded, burly, bespectacled (alliteration! You’re welcome Mrs. Yagel, 9th grade English teacher) young man with a kind smile had just come up the jet way from the plane I was about to board. For a fleeting moment I was like “hell yes! it’s about damn time!” My heart literally skipped a beat at the same moment my eyes finally focused to of course reveal it was not, said dead husband. Your mind plays funny tricks like that on you when you lose someone you love. I fancy myself a rather rational person, yet throughout this process I keep escaping all logic in short moments. For about a half a second I truly thought it was him, and my mind and body did too as my heart jumped and I became laser focused. All the sound and logical thought that’s been fighting to come through these last 13 months just disappears. Shittily (word? yes) enough…this happens fairly often. Sometimes I’ll be driving or doing something else that lends itself to my mind wandering, and my mind likes to then take these moments to remind me “hey, can you believe your husband is dead?! That’s bananas!”. It’s like my subconscious wrestles with the reality too and needs to keep resetting itself. I can’t really explain these little moments, except to say they are like micro-bursts of forgetfulness-realization-shock-depression all rolled into about 1.25 seconds. I then sit and dwell for a few minutes as I’m reminded all over again “WTF THIS really is my life! How did I get here?!” The tears well up, I stare off into space, a shocking and/or vivid visual or memory of Bryan may or may not pop in my head, but then I take a deep breath, loosen the drawstring on my sweatpants, and go back to that bag of Doritos and season 7 of Parks and Recreation I totally haven’t been letting occupy my time for the last 2 hours (or 4). My body really is a temple, y’all. I wonder when the shock will wear off. Maybe it never will. Maybe as I accept my third Pulitzer for “excellence in grief journalism” I’ll fall off the stage when I get a micro-burst and I’m like “wait, what? I have THREE Pulitzers?Awesome! They’re because my husband died? NOT Awesome!” [face plant].
Other moments I find quite fun are the times something funny, stupid, boring, sad, embarrassing etc. happens and the first person I think to tell is Bryan, only to be reminded in that instant that I can’t do that. Ever. Again. I won’t say these happen too often or too strongly, as my rational self keeps these in check most of the time, but I hear from others in the bereft club of life that these can be a real punch to the emotional nut sack! And sometimes they are for me as well. Just earlier today I was in the bathroom cogitating on this very blog and thought, hey maybe that’s a funny topic, let me see what Bryan would thi-oh wait never mind. Sigh. [flush sound]. Irony of ironies, he probably would have totally dug this here blog o’ mine. He was a witty writer and cunning linguist of the utmost quality, and I know if I had started a blog for any other reason, he would be my Editor In Chief. In a weird way, he encouraged me to share my “thoughts on things” and even made this Facebook cover page for me once so that I could share my witticisms across social media:
Hmmm. Perhaps a prophecy is being foretold! If that’s the case, I would just like to say, if you knew something I didn’t back then Bryan, I am NOT amused. However, I will continue to share my “Thoughts on things” and thanks for letting me hash out my crippled stream of consciousness on a key board. It’s something in my routine that I actually don’t hate and, it really is about finding joy in the littler things after all.