Nothing surprises me about widowhood anymore, other than that I am still so often surprised at how I'm not surprised anymore.
Parse that, will ya?
At lunch today, I was packing up my guitar and accoutrements because I have my lesson right after work. As is my habit, I kissed my fingers and touched them to the glass of the picture frame that holds one of my favorite (and somewhat visually prescient) photos of A. And as I walked out of the room, I shook my head at how normal that had become. That it didn't even have much emotional content beyond "Hi, sweetie, I love ya!"
This is normal: I am in love with a dead man whom I kiss by proxy through glass, and that's just how it is.
I suppose this is where I tell myself I think too much. This is where I remind myself that this is what I suffered so much for, what I worked so hard for—to create a new kind of relationship with my sweetie under our new circumstances so that I could bear to keep breathing without a pain in my chest, an ache in my heart, and guilt in my soul.
I've done it. I kiss his picture on my way out the door, with a breezy mental "I love you," in contrast to those teary 5-10-minute goodbyes every night in the early days after he died where I stared at his picture through flooded eyes and asked for the umpteenth time "Why?" It's so strange.
Don't get me wrong—I'm not complaining. I wouldn't go back to that pain again for anything; a less acute version of it finds me often enough as it is. But I can't help but be astonished at what I've gotten used to, and sometimes the surreality of it just smacks me between the eyes. In those moments, I am startled again that this story is not just any story, it's MY story. This all really happened. To me! It's still happening to me, because I'm still happening. I wonder if there's a part of me that will always stand back from my life and say "no way…no fucking way" in total disbelief.
Life, for all its mundanity and habit and sheer endurance, blows my mind on a regular basis.