My husband's death changed me profoundly. For example, it took me nine months before I let the boys ride in a car with anyone but me driving. I reasoned that if there was going to be an accident, we all needed to go to the hereafter together. Shortly after the death I also started to be acutely aware of how I communicated with others. I made a point of really looking into people's eyes and listening to their words because I wanted to "see into their souls" and not just interact superficially.
It remains challenging to explain to people how much I have changed and how I sometimes think. Just another ongoing challenge of widowhood. Not only do I not think and react to life the ways I used to but now others don't understand me. And they still don't get it even when I try and explain.
In Kate Braestrup's memoir "Here If You Need Me," she writes of becoming a minister, which was actually her husband's dream, after his death. And she says, "Death alters the reality of our lives; the death of an intimate changes it completely. No part of my life, from my most ethereal notions of God to the most mundane detail of tooth brushing, was the same after Drew died. Life consisted on one rending novelty after another, as anyone who has lost a spouse can attest."
What struck me so acutely about her words was the mention of tooth brushing - how even that everyday act we so much take for granted was no longer just a mundane detail after her husband's death. That is what I meant when I started this post by observing how my husband's death changed the very core of me - from how I think whenever I drive a car to the way I look into people's eyes. Or in Kate's case, how she brushes her teeth and now looks upon God. That is what is so hard to explain to others - the breadth and depth of this change. This is why blogging has been so helpful to me - I know that those in my shoes reading my posts all get it! And it has helped me to read the blogs of others and know exactly where they are coming from! No one needs to expain for a change.
Today I am grateful:
1. For getting through eight hours of work without the aches and pains I usually feel in my feet!
2. For the opportunity to get back into the swing of working again.
3. For even having a job because they are still pretty slim in this area of the country.
4. For having a good work day (no register errors).
5. For having an easier time of making it through the eight hours.