I really dislike the word widow, but I’m trying to embrace it because that is what I am now. When I used to think of a widow, it was obviously someone else; someone at the end of her life, someone whose husband had been killed in a war, in the line of duty as a first responder, or someone whose husband was terminally ill and she got the exquisite benefit of time to say goodbye.
When he had his seizure, I had no idea I needed to squeeze in my goodbye. As they wheeled him out of the living room, I should have grabbed his hand, told him how much I loved him, something to show him that he was my entire world. Instead I stood frozen, panicked, and unable to move. I let them take him away thinking I would see him soon at the hospital and sure, he may be there a while, but he was going to be fine and would just need to take whatever medicine or change his diet however he needed to change it. When I got to the hospital, him being gone was the furthest thing from my mind. In that split second, I became the W word.
They offered to let me see him. I couldn’t. I have mixed feelings on my choice. On the one hand, I gave up the chance to see him one last time. On the other hand, it wasn’t him anymore. Somehow my last memory being of him breathing, no matter how labored and shallow from his seizure is better than seeing him not breathing and still having tubes inside of him from their attempts to save him. I hope someday my brain lets me have the real last memory of him be when we said kissed goodnight and exchanged “I love yous”. Some day.
Today is going to be a widow-riffic day. I am heading out to get copies of the death certificate, going to the social security office, and starting to send out said copies of the certificate to where they need to go. It’s funny, when I hit 35 I was starting to come to terms with the fact that I am on my way to getting old. Now, I feel like a child that is much too young to deal with this.