Day One: After, what do you do?

March 10, 2019 was day one of my new life. So what did I do? Make coffee, walk the dog, watched endless episodes of Downton Abbey. I cried. cancelled K.’s cell phone line, and cancelled his upcoming doctor’s appointments. Due to his illness we had spent a lot of time going to doctors, dealing with medication and insurance issues. I suddenly remembered K. telling me that when he died I’d be better off, because I wouldn’t have to take care of him, and everything would be back to normal in about a month. I got angry, VERY angry. I remember talking out loud to him saying “So now you are gone and I am NOT fine you jerk! Nothing will ever be normal!” I proceeded to take my anger out on the kitchen scrubbing every inch of it, then I vacuumed the house, and did load after load of laundry.

When I tackled the bathroom I declared “YOU are gone, YOU left, and now this is MY space!”. K. liked to have everything he needed close at hand or out where he could see it. I like things put away, and shelves to be clear. Out went the toothbrush, razors, beard trimmer, floss, deodorant,etc. All satisfyingly swept into the trash bin.

As I was going through the house I found there were some items that were comforting to have visible like K.’s favorite coffee cup and a glass jar filled with Moxie soda bottle caps (his favorite soda). There were others I couldn’t stand to look at, that made me either unbearably sad or angry. All those stupid three-drawer plastic storage units K. liked to put his music, books, and guitar stuff into just made me want to open the window, and throw them out. Seriously, he had five of them! The bedspread I ripped off, and threw on the floor. His music stand had to go. I restrained my initial impulse to open the window and toss and took the time to sort through all the items in the drawers. A significant amount of stuff went to the dumpster that day.

After the initial frenzy subsided I had to wonder at the intensity of it all. I was wiped out and a little worried that I’d might have gone too far. What is wrong with me that I would be so impulsive and out of control? I hoped I wouldn’t regret it or really go off the deep end.

That night I slid into bed on fresh laundered sheets with the TV on playing yet another episode of Downton Abbey and sobbed.

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